With spring here, we naturally think about the fresh start it brings. But for many of us at home, spring is also the perfect time for a good clean-up or finally organizing that lingering project you’ve kept placing on the back burner. So, today we are here to remind you not to forget about your plumbing system in the spring-cleaning routine! After handling winter, your plumbing needs a little seasonal TLC to keep it running smoothly for the season ahead. Bear in mind that overlooking certain parts might end up costing you a lot in repairs later on. Today, at Canal Winchester Plumbing & Drain, we’re sharing some handy spring prep tips to keep your home and plumbing in top shape. Get ready for spring with peace of mind! 

1. Look at Your Water Heater   

Your water heater is a silent champion of your home; it is always there to give you warm water at your whim whenever you need it. As the weather warms up for spring, it might be easy to overlook your water heater, while you’re busy cleaning and organizing all the other aspects your home. But now’s a great time to give it a quick check for any maintenance it might need! 

  • Look at the Temperature: First off, you should give your water heater a quick double-check to ensure it’s set at the right temp (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as advised by the CPSC). 
  • Look Over the Unit: It’s been quite a long winter. So, it’s a good idea to check for any signs of corrosion on your water heater, including the valves and connections. If you spot rust, corrosion, or anything unusual, you may want to have a professional plumber look at it to make sure there are no problems. It might be nothing serious, but it’s better to catch and fix any hidden issues now before they become bigger headaches later. 
  • Listen for Sounds: If you notice any weird noises, it could be a sign that your system is stressed for some reason. So, if you hear something unusual, it’s a good idea to reach out to a professional for this reason as well. Sizzling, hissing, or even crackling sounds might indicate your water heater needs some attention. 
  • Look for Dust: You may find the space around the water heater is full of dust and dirt. If this is the case, take a moment to gently sweep around the heater. You may use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if needed. Just be sure to practice caution and move slowly. If the unit itself is layered with dust, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Be sure to wipe it dry afterward. 

Remember, a water heater usually lasts around 8-12 years, based on how well you take care of it. If yours is almost hitting this mark, it could be a good idea to think about getting a new one. 

Fun Fact: The first day of spring in 2024 is on March 19th! 

2. Look at Your Sump Pump   

For homes with a sump pump, remember that early spring brings high-water tables. It’s the rainy season after all! So, you’ll also want to make sure your sump pump is able to handle the load and avoid flooding. Protecting your stuff and home’s structure is always a smart move that you won’t regret doing! 

  • Check the Power: First off, check that your sump pump is good to go by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to see if it kicks in as it should. If the sump pump does not respond, you can try troubleshooting it. Click here for some information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump or feel free to give us a call so we can come diagnose your issue for you! 
  • Check the Pit: Thirdly, make sure to clear out any debris or sediment that’s built up in the pit. Double-check for any loose stuff inside that could clog the pump and lower its efficiency. If you spot any, gently get rid of it. Also, ensure the sump pump lid is snugly in place to prevent debris from falling in. And keep the area around the sump pump tidy and clutter-free. This helps avoid any plumbing issues! 

3. Look at Your Indoor Drains   

April showers bring… drain clogs? Well, maybe that’s not exactly how the saying goes! Jokes aside, the rainy spring season really tests your home’s drains. Debris buildup can block proper drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow – things you definitely want to steer clear of! So, keeping all your drains clean, clear, and ready is key to staying spring-ready! 

  • Kitchen Sink: If you’ve got a garbage disposal, give it a whirl to make sure it’s still doing its job and the water’s flowing smoothly. Your kitchen sink still needs a little love now and then since you use it so often. For a natural cleaner, try baking soda and vinegar down the sink. Want a fresh scent? Squeeze in some lemon juice! Skip the harsh chemicals, as they can mess up your drain and pipes. 
  • Bathroom Sink, Tub, Shower & Toilets: You’ll want to check your bathroom drains every now and then to keep them clean and clear. Remove the drain stoppers and screens from your bathroom sink, tubs, and showers. Then, get rid of any hair or gunk buildup you find. Once you’ve done that, test them out by running water to ensure everything flows smoothly. Also, make sure your toilets flush properly, don’t run constantly, and aren’t backing up.  
  • Floor Drains: Sweep around your floor drains and tidy up any stray hair, dust, and loose bits. You can even pour some hot water down the drains to keep them ready for action. If you think they need a deeper clean, vinegar and baking soda work well for these drains, too. Just be sure to rinse everything off thoroughly using hot water afterward. 

4. Look at Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

Let’s head outside. Your gutters and downspouts play a key role in directing water away from your home. It’s important to add this task to your spring-cleaning checklist! Blocked gutters can lead to water pooling near your foundation, causing further issues. And as snow melts or rainfall flows, unexpected materials can clog your gutters, hindering water flow. So, consider it in your best interest to make sure your gutters and downspouts are ready for the upcoming spring season.  

*Above all, make sure you prioritize safety. If you’re not comfortable using a ladder or lack the proper tools to clean your gutters, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help instead. 

  • Inspect the Gutters: Grab your ladder, gloves, and cleaning gear to tackle those gutters. They might not need a clean just yet, but it’s good to double-check before the April showers come pouring down! Please, gently clear any debris from your gutters if you do find anything that needs to be cleared. 
  • Inspect the Downspouts: Don’t forget about the downspouts when checking your gutters. They’re just as crucial in your gutter system. Your gutters might be clean, but if the downspouts are clogged, the water won’t drain properly. Take a peek at them, too. Keep in mind, sometimes you can remove the bottom piece of the downspout to confirm that the curved piece is in fact clear of any blockages. Clear out any leaves or twigs you find. Then, be sure to put it back where it belongs. If needed, you can also use a downspout extension to direct water further away. 
  • Inspect the Outdoor Drains: It’s totally normal for leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to gather over outdoor drains. Some might have leaves and loose debris built up over the winter and could continue to do so in spring. Try taking a quick look at all your outdoor drains around the yard and house to make sure nothing’s blocking them. If you spot anything that needs clearing, grab a rake or outdoor broom and carefully take care of it. 

Keeping your gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains clear throughout the season as helps protect your plumbing and home from erosion and flooding. It’s a win-win situation! 

Spring marks the start of new beginnings. It’s also a great time to give your plumbing system a check-up, ensuring it’s ready for the liveliness of the warmer months. By adding these four plumbing checks to your seasonal home maintenance routine, you’re not just avoiding potential disasters but also extending the life of your plumbing. Remember, for tasks beyond your expertise, it’s wise to reach out to a professional like Canal Winchester Plumbing & Drain.  

For any questions or concerns, feel free to call Canal Winchester Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 490-7531 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!