With spring here, it’s time to think about the fresh start of the season. For many homeowners, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. But as your local plumbing experts, we are here to remind you not to overlook your plumbing system throughout your spring cleaning routine! After enduring winter, your plumbing needs seasonal maintenance to work well for the upcoming season. Neglecting certain parts could result in expensive repairs later on. So, today, Westerville Plumbing & Drain is sharing practical spring preparation tips to help protect your home and plumbing system. Get ready for spring with peace of mind! 

1. Inspect and Clean Your Water Heater   

Your water heater works silently to provide heated water for your comfort. As spring approaches, it’s easy to overlook checking it. Now is a great time to inspect for any maintenance requirements!  

  • Temperature Inspection: To begin, verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as advised by the CPSC – The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Visual Inspection: Check for any signs of corrosion on your water heater, including the valves and connections. If you see rust or anything unusual, call a professional to assess the damage. It might be minor, but addressing any underlying issues now can prevent them from becoming larger, costlier problems later on. 
  • Audible Inspection: Strange noises can also be an early warning sign that your system is under strain. If you hear unusual sounds, especially sizzling, hissing, or crackling, it could mean your water heater needs to be drained. Consider calling a professional if you hear anything out of the ordinary. 
  • Clean the Unit: You may find the area around the water heater full of dust and dirt. If this is the case with yours, take a moment to gently sweep around the unit. You can 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.  

Keep in mind, a water heater usually lasts 8-12 years with proper maintenance. If yours is nearing this range, it could be time for a new one. 

Fun Fact to Think About: Did you know the first day of spring in 2024 is March 19th? 

2. Inspect and Clean Your Sump Pump   

For homes with a sump pump, remember that early spring brings high-water tables. It’s the rainy season, of course, so make sure your sump pump is working well to avoid basement flooding.  

  • Power Inspection: First, ensure your sump pump is functioning properly by pouring water into the sump pit to test its response. If the sump pump does not turn on or respond as it should, 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 diagnose your issue for you! 
  • Pit Inspection: Look inside the pit of the sump pump to look for debris or sediment. If you spot any, carefully remove them from the pit to prevent pump blockage and maintain efficiency. On top of that, you’ll want to secure the sump pump lid to avoid debris falling in. Lastly, keep in mind that the area around the pump needs to remain clean and clear at all times to prevent future issues. 

3. Inspect and Clean Your Indoor Drains   

The rainy spring season can really challenge your drains. Debris buildup can block drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow – things you want to prevent! So, keep your drains clean, clear, and ready to stay spring-ready with the following tips!   

  • Clean the Kitchen Sink Drain: If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on to check if it’s working properly and draining water. Since it’s a kitchen component you use often, it could use some attention every now and then too. You can clean your kitchen sink drain with natural products like baking soda and vinegar. For a fresh scent, lemon juice works well! Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can actually harm your drain and pipes. 
  • Clean the Bathroom Drains: Make sure to keep your bathroom drains clean and clear. Start by removing drain stoppers and screens from sinks, tubs, and showers. Then, clear out any hair or gunk buildup. Lastly, test that the water is draining properly by letting the water run for a minute. Lastly, don’t forget about your toilets. Test all the toilets in your home by flushing them and making sure there are no drainage issues, constant running, or backup problems. 
  • Clean the Floor Drains: Sweep around your floor drains to get rid of hair, dust, and loose particles. You can pour hot water down the drains to keep them clear and make sure they are not clogged. If needed, use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning; just take extra care that no residue is left behind and they are properly rinsed. 

4. Inspect and Clean Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

Your gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in diverting water from your home. So, it’s vital to add them to your spring-cleaning checklist! Blocked gutters can lead to water accumulating near your foundation, causing more plumbing issues. 

*First and foremost, prioritize safety. If you’re unsure about using a ladder or lack the necessary tools to complete the job, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help. 

  • Clean the Gutters: Get your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools ready to clean your gutters. They might not need cleaning yet, but it’s best to check and clear leaves and debris out before the April showers arrive! 
  • Clean the Downspouts: Don’t forget about downspouts when checking your gutters. They’re crucial parts of the system. Even if your gutters are clear, clogged downspouts can cause issues. Check and clear them by removing any blockages.  
  • Clean the Outdoor Drains: It’s common for leaves, petals, sticks, and mud to collect over drains. Take a moment to check all drains around your yard and house to ensure they’re clear. If you spot any blockages, remove them carefully using a rake or outdoor broom.   

By keeping your gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains clear, you protect your plumbing and home from erosion and flooding. It’s a win-win situation! 

Include these four plumbing checks in your seasonal home maintenance routine to prevent issues and extend your system’s lifespan. For complex tasks, consider a professional plumber like Westerville Plumbing & Drain. We’d love to serve you! 

Call Westerville Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 540-3437, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!