Checking Your Plumbing | Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Spring Thaw: 3 Tips for Checking Your Plumbing When the Weather Starts to Change

Your home’s plumbing system undergoes changes with the seasons. You probably know your pipes freeze during winter. Once you’re certain below-zero temperatures won’t be coming around for time, do some checking and maintenance. You should check for leaky pipes, test the functionality of your sump pump and check the water heater as part of your spring routine.

Spring Thaw: 3 Tips for Checking Your Plumbing When the Weather Starts to Change

Check for leaks

Both indoor and outdoor pipes may have frozen during winter and developed cracks. Look around outside for wet areas which could indicate an underground leak.  To check indoor pipes, turn off all the faucets and note the reading on the water meter. Check the meter again in an hour. If the reading has changed, you have a leak.

You should also examine your faucets for water dripping out or leakage around the connections. Look under the sinks as well. See if the area is wet or showing signs of rot. If you notice signs of leakage run the hot and cold water taps one at a time to see which one is leaking.

Don’t forget to test your toilet. Put a few drops of food dye in the tank and see if any ends up in the bowl. This would be an indicator of a leak.

Check the water heater

You may not have thought about this one since it’s normally tucked away and out of sight. However, your water heater probably came in quite handy during winter. It’s how you got those much-needed warm showers and hot chocolate. Now, ou need to maintain it after all that work. If you cranked up the temperature last season, remember to turn it back down for spring. Leaving the temperature high can burn out the elements and reduce the efficiency of the appliance. The tank may also rupture, causing 40 to 50 gallons of water to flood your home. You definitely don’t want that!

The heater may have picked up some sediment during winter. Not only does this reduce efficiency but the sediment can end up throughout your plumbing system. It can clog supply lines and contaminate your potable water supply. This is another thing you don’t want.  Consider contacting your plumber in Toronto to see if you should have it flushed.

Test the sump pump

The sump pump is a small pump installed in a basement or crawlspace. It is designed to prevent flooding and help keep the area under the building dry. It may not have been in use during the winter period, but spring’s rain will place some demands on it. The start of spring is the ideal time to test the sump pump and make sure it is still working. You can dump a substantial amount of water into the pit where it is located and see if it comes on, drains the area and then goes off. If this doesn’t occur, you should call a plumber.

Spring isn’t only about wardrobe changes and spending more time outside. You need to do the less exciting but absolutely important tasks around the home. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, call a plumber to get your pipes ready for the new season.

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