With the onset of spring, our focus naturally shifts towards the vibrant renewal of the season. Yet, for numerous homeowners, spring presents a prime opportunity for cleaning – whether it entails thorough cleaning or addressing an organizational endeavor that has long been pending on your agenda; remember not to overlook your plumbing system! This is crucial because, following the winter season, your plumbing system could benefit from seasonal maintenance to guarantee it operates optimally and is prepared for the upcoming season. 

Neglecting certain components may result in expensive repairs in the future. Today, Gahanna Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with practical spring preparation tips to protect your home and plumbing system. This will help you prepare effectively for the upcoming spring season, ensuring your peace of mind.  

1. Your Water Heater   

Your water heater is an efficient provider of heated water, ensuring your comfort whenever needed. As spring approaches, it may be easy to overlook it. Nevertheless, now is an ideal opportunity to conduct a thorough inspection.  

  • Temperature Check: Initially, verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as per the CPSC – Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Visual Check: You should inspect your water heater thoroughly for any indications of corrosion, focusing on the valves and connections. Should you observe rust, corrosion, or any anomalies, we recommend promptly seeking the expertise of a professional to evaluate the extent of the damage. While these signs may not mean there is a significant issue, it is crucial to address any potential unnoticed developments from recent months. Identifying and resolving any underlying concerns now can prevent the situation from escalating into a larger, more costly problem in the future. On the same note, you should also look for dust on or around the vicinity of the water heater. Over time, it’s normal for this area to accumulate dust and debris. If you find this to be true with your water heater, take a moment to gently sweep around It. You may use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if that makes it easier for you to complete the task. Just don’t forget to practice caution and move very carefully. Lastly, if the unit has dust on top of it, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Take extra care to wipe it dry afterward. 
  • Audible Check: Unusual noises serve as an advanced indication that the system may be experiencing strain for various reasons. Therefore, if you detect any unfamiliar sounds, it is advisable that you consider contacting a professional. Sounds like sizzling, hissing, or crackling might indicate that your water heater is due to be flushed. 

Keep in mind that a water heater generally has a lifespan of around 8-12 years, varying based on maintenance practices. If yours is nearing this timeframe, it may be prudent to contemplate a replacement.  

Fun Fact: Did you know the first day of spring this year in 2024 is on the 19th of March? 

2. Your Sump Pump   

For residences equipped with a sump pump, it is important to note that the early spring signifies the onset of elevated water tables. Given that it is the rainy season, maintaining the optimal condition of your sump pump and ensuring its readiness to manage the workload can mitigate potential disasters such as basement flooding. Protecting your possessions and the structural stability of your home is always in your best interest! 

  • Test if the Sump Pump Responds: Firstly, it is important to verify the functionality of your sump pump and ensure it is prepared to act promptly. This can be achieved by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to assess the pump’s response. If it does not activate as it should, you can try troubleshooting it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Click here for information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump or feel free to call us so we can come diagnose and resolve the issue for you! 
  • Check the Pump’s Pit for Debris: Thirdly, it is imperative to eliminate any debris or sediment that may have accumulated in the pit. So, make sure there are no loose particles inside the pit that could impede the pump’s function and diminish its effectiveness. If any debris is discovered, remove it carefully. Furthermore, ensure that the sump pump lid is securely positioned over the pit to prevent any loose debris from entering. Additionally, bear in mind that maintaining the area surrounding the sump pump in a tidy and clutter-free manner is essential. This regular practice will help avert potential plumbing issues from arising. 

3. Your Indoor Drains   

April showers can challenge your interior drains during the rainy spring season. Debris buildup can obstruct drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow. So, ensuring clean and clear drains is key to preventing these issues and staying prepared for spring. 

  • Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, activate it to confirm proper functionality and check if the water is draining effectively. This kitchen component is frequently used, so it requires preventative care. You can clean your kitchen sink drain using natural products such as baking soda and vinegar. For a pleasant scent, consider using lemon juice. Take note that you should avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners to prevent damage to your drain and pipes. 
  • Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Showers & Toilets: All bathroom drains need to be clean and free from any buildup or obstructions as well. Do so by carefully removing drain stoppers and screens from bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers. Subsequently, eliminate any accumulations of hair and debris. Once you have verified the absence of any potential obstructions, promptly test the drains by running water to ensure smooth flow and drainage. Verify that all toilets function correctly, flushing and draining as intended, without continuous running or backups. 
  • Floor Drains: Sweep around floor drains to clear stray hair, dust, and particles. You can pour hot water down drains to clear them and ensure they are ready for use. If further cleaning is needed, vinegar and baking soda are also suitable to use. Just be sure they are thoroughly rinsed with water after cleaning so no residue buildup is left behind. 

4. Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

Let’s move outdoors. The function of your gutters and downspouts in diverting water away from your house is paramount. So, it is crucial to incorporate these into your spring-cleaning regimen. Blocked gutters can lead to water accumulation near your foundation, causing potential damage. With the winter season ending and the rainy season coming, unexpected materials may obstruct water flow within your gutters.  

*First and foremost, prioritize safety by practicing caution at all times. If you are hesitant about your safety while using a ladder or lack the appropriate tools for the task, consider engaging a professional for assistance instead. 

  • Clean the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools to maintain your gutters. While they might not need cleaning just yet, it’s crucial to inspect them before the heavy April showers arrive. Please gently clear any debris from your gutters if you find any. 
  • Clean the Downspouts: Downspouts should not be disregarded during your gutter inspection. They play an equally vital role in your gutter system. While your gutters may be cleaned and prepared to handle rainfall, obstructed downspouts can impede proper drainage. It is important to inspect these components as well. In certain instances, you can cautiously detach the lower section to ensure it is clear of debris. Removing any leaves or twigs trapped in this segment is advisable. Remember to reattach it securely. To redirect water further away, you may also opt for a downspout extension if necessary. 
  • Clean the Outdoor Drains: It is common for loose leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to accumulate over drains. Some debris may have gathered over your outdoor drains during winter and could continue to do so in spring. We recommend conducting a thorough inspection of all outdoor drains around your property to ensure they are not obstructed. If you identify any blockages, gently clear them using a rake or outdoor broom. 

By ensuring proper maintenance of clear gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains, you are safeguarding the structural integrity of your plumbing system and enhancing the resilience of your home against erosion and flooding. This strategy offers dual benefits for your property.   

Spring heralds new beginnings, making it an opportune time to assess the condition of your plumbing system to ensure it can handle the demands of the upcoming warmer months. By incorporating these four essential plumbing checks into your seasonal home maintenance routine, you not only avert potential disasters but also extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. Keep in mind that certain tasks may need professional assistance, so don’t be hesitant to engage a qualified plumber such as Gahanna Plumbing & Drain for any issues beyond your expertise. We’d love to serve you! 

Call Gahanna Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 245-2256, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here