Spring has sprung, and as the weather turns from cold and dry to warm and wet, you may notice issues with your plumbing popping up. Spring is a surprisingly common time for plumbing issues to arise, as the temperature shift exacerbates any issues which might have gone unnoticed in the colder months. Spring rains can overwhelm drainage if it’s not properly prepared, and pipes which expanded in the cold shrink back to the normal size and show cracks which weren’t there before. Don’t worry, there are ways to mitigate concerns – it just takes a bit of preparation. This month, our plumbing experts are here to share tips on how to prepare yourself for common spring plumbing issues.
1. Inspect Your Water Heater
Over the winter, your water heater sees a lot more use than in warmer months. We’ve talked plenty about the issues which can happen with water heaters, and spring is the best time to watch out for those problems. You can schedule an appointment with a professional to get your water heater inspected, but there are signs you can look for with an untrained eye. Look for small cracks or signs of erosion across the entire appliance, and make sure that there isn’t any leakage. A full flush is recommended for maximum preparation, but if you’ve been up on your maintenance it may not be needed.
2. Clean Your Drains
There is nothing worse than the smell of your garbage disposal on a particularly warm spring day, and taking precautions ahead of the heat will make your life much easier as the temperature warms up. Avoid chemical drain cleaners when cleaning out your drains, and opt for either a drain snake or a baking soda and vinegar combination to keep them fresh. Don’t forget to do the outdoor drains, as heavy spring rains can pile up if they’re blocked and cause water damage to the home.
3. Check for Leaks
During winter, your pipes expand due to the colder temperatures. When spring rolls around and your pipes slowly warm up, they contract back down to their original size. While some pipes are more flexible than others, this expanding and contracting can eventually spring leaks over time. Each spring, you should do a careful inspection both inside and outside for leaky pipes. Check under your sinks, your sprinkler system, and of course your appliances (such as the dishwasher) for signs of dripping or cracked pipes.
Fortunately, here in Las Vegas we don’t deal with the extreme cold temperatures which are most often blamed for burst pipes. Unfortunately, we do suffer from a dry cold, which can cause pipes to become brittle and crack more easily. Taking care of your indoor and outdoor plumbing each season will lead to preventing major issues. Make regular plumbing maintenance a priority when it comes to your plumbing! A single visit from a plumbing expert once every few months could save you major money down the road.