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Spring Plumbing Preparation

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Spring in Memphis

Warm months mean it’s soon time to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. Time to slow down a little, relax, and come together with friends and family. Not calling for plumbing repairs – who wants to deal with leaks or clogs when the weather is finally nice? As you’re outside more, filling pools, spring cleaning, and running the sprinklers, the plumbing should be in its best condition to handle the increase in use. We’ve gathered our top tips for preventing plumbing problems and ensuring that you’re not wasting water or ignoring a critical warning sign.

10 Tips to Avoid Springtime Plumbing Problems

Check for Sweating Pipes

You’ve successfully made it through the cold months and worrying about pipes bursting, but now the problem is going in the opposite direction. When you inspect your pipes, they could appear to be leaking when it’s actually sweating due to the water being colder than the air outside. While it’s fortunate if it’s not a leak to repair, the sweating still wastes your water and drives up your monthly bills. You can help avoid this by insulating your pipes.

Inspect Washer Supply Hoses

Every year, you should check the floor underneath the washer to look for signs of water, and check both sides of the supply hoses. How long have you had the same rubber hoses on your washing machine? It’s recommended to replace them every five years to avoid failure.

Clean & Test Your Sump Pump

Look for any obvious debris you can clear away, then pour a few buckets of water into the sump pit to test that it detects and re-routes the water. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to bring in a professional for repairs so that you’re not caught in a flood without a working pump.

Check Your Water Heater

It’s a good idea to maintain your water heater every six months, and spring is a great time to incorporate this service. Flush the tank to remove any sediment or debris buildup, check the anode rod, and look for any damage to avoid a malfunction that could cause flooding.

Test Outdoor Faucets & Sprinklers

Turn the faucet on the see if the water is flowing correctly. If there is a leak, you may need to replace the faucet, but if that doesn’t work the problem may be within the pipes.

You can do this same process to test your irrigation system for leaks – turn it on and assess whether everything is working properly.

Look for Toilet Leaks

Besides visibly seeing water leaking from the toilet, you can check for problems that are harder to detect with food coloring. All you need to do is add a few drops into the tank and wait. If the water in the toilet bowl changes color and you didn’t flush, there’s an internal leak. Try replacing the flapper to see if that works, or call in the pros.

Inspect Hardware & Pipes Below Sinks

While you’re checking for toilet leaks, look at your sink, bath, and shower hardware for signs of leaks. And don’t forget the pipes that are below the sinks – look for water or rust. If there is significant corrosion, replace that section ASAP to prevent a burst. A quick replacement will get you back on track so that you’re not dealing with a major issue later on.

Inspect Your Yard

Now that there isn’t a layer of snow, and fresh grass is growing, take a walk through the yard to look for soggy spots. If your lawn is soft and squishy in spots, it could be a leak in:

  • The waterline
  • A sprinkler system
  • The septic system
  • The drainage

Clean Your Gutters & Other Drainage

Be sure that your gutters, downspouts, and any drains that you have on the property are clear and ready to handle springtime debris. Rain can cause flooding, especially if drains are clogging, and that standing water creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. Clean your drains, check that the gutters are secure, and inspect your roof for damage – that way, you’ve covered all the bases.

Increase Water Pressure

There’s no magic solution for this, but as the weather warms up, your home isn’t the only one using more water. Since overall usage will increase, you can avoid being a part of the peak times to get better water pressure. An example would be to watch for when your neighbors are running their irrigation and start yours a little earlier or later.