covid

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

Posted by Gary Gray on Apr 10, 2020

faucet-with-the-water-running

Spring cleaning has always been a big "to-do" on everyone's list, but COVID-19 makes this chore even more relevant now. This seasonal overhaul shouldn't be limited to sanitizing surfaces or reorganizing cabinets and closets, but should also include reviewing the systems that keep your home running smoothly - such as your plumbing. Take a look at these tips to defend your home against potential plumbing problems.

Check for Piping Leaks

In the kitchen and bathrooms, test each sink to make sure no water escapes from the faucets when they are shut off. Look inside the cabinets or check underneath the sinks to be sure no water drips from the pipes when the water flow is stopped. Even minimal leaks can become a costly issue over time. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, just one drip per minute can waste 34 gallons of water per year. Now imagine if multiple sinks were leaking, or if it were two drips per minute instead of one. The amount of water waste can quickly multiply and that directly affects your utility bill.

Another place in the home to check for leaks is any appliance that uses water - think dishwasher and washing machine, among others. Look around the supply hoses to check for bulging, any extra moisture, standing water, corrosion or rust. All of these can be signs that there is a leak, or that one may be the way.

Do a Toilet Test

A simple way to test for leaks in your toilet is to put a few drops of food coloring into the water tank and leave it for thirty minutes. When the time is up, if the water in the bowl is the color of the dye, there could be a leak that needs to be checked by a professional.

Look at Water Heater Settings

Most professionals recommend that the setting for your home's water heater not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature gauge helps prevent overly heated water that can cause scalding, keeps your heater running longer and lowers energy use that leads to lower bills.

Sometimes, water heater temperatures are turned up during winter months, so be sure to check that it is lowered for the warmer summer months to come. While doing this, also check for any corrosion or leaks. It's generally said that a water heater can last up to 15 years, so as you do your yearly maintenance, keep track of how old your unit is and when it may be time to look into getting a new one. Another quick way to check your heater's age is by looking at its serial number. On many units, the first four digits of the number represent the year and week/month of the year your heater was manufactured.

Look Outside

Maintenance is unfortunately often limited to a review of internal plumbing, but it's important to check outside, too. Look at gutters and drains to be sure there are no leaves or any other debris causing blockage. Check faucets to make sure all water freely flows and there are no leaks when the supply is stopped.

Let the Experts Help

This checklist is a great place to start your yearly plumbing maintenance. Be sure to keep these tips in mind and if you happen to find any leaks, warning signs or anything in between, we can help, while maintaining social distancing and other health safety protocols. Call (904) 724-7211 for more information.

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