4 Proven Steps You Don’t Want to Miss to Ensure Your Plumbing System Is Spring Ready

Mar 1, 2024 | Plumbing System, Bathtubs, Downspouts, Garbage Disposal, Gutters, Indoor Drains, Inspection, Maintenance, Outdoor Drains, Problems, Season, Shower, Sink, Spring, Spring Preparation, Spring-ready, Springtime, Sump Pump, Toilet, Water Heater

With spring here, we naturally think about the fresh start it brings. But for many of us at home, spring means it’s time for some serious cleaning – whether that’s a big cleanup or finally tackling that organizational project you’ve been long putting off. Oh, and don’t forget about your plumbing! Because after surviving the winter season, your plumbing needs a little seasonal TLC to make sure it’s working great for the season ahead. Neglecting certain parts of your plumbing system might end up costing you more for repairs later on. So, today, at Five Star Cincinnati Plumbing, we’re sharing some handy spring preparation tips to protect your home and plumbing system. Get ready for spring with confidence!  

1. Clean Your Water Heater   

Your water heater is like a silent hero, always there to give you hot water when you need it. As spring approaches and the weather warms up, it might slip your mind to give your water heater a once-over. But now’s a great time to check for any maintenance it might need! 

  • A Temperature Check: First off, just give your water heater’s temperature a double-check to ensure it’s set to the recommended level (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as per the CPSC – The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • A Visual Check: It’s been quite a long winter. So, take a peek at any signs of corrosion on your water heater, like the valves and connections. If you spot rust or anything odd, you may want to have it checked out. It might be nothing, but if something sneaked up on you in the past few months unnoticed, you’d want to catch and fix it now before it turns into a bigger issue. Secondly, look for dust on or around the unit. You may find the space around the water heater is covered with dust and dirt. If you find this to be true with your water heater, you’ll need to take a moment to gently sweep around It. You may use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if that makes it easier. Just don’t forget to practice caution and move carefully. 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. 
  • An Audible Check: Strange noises serve as an early heads-up that your system might be feeling the pressure. So, if you catch an odd sound, it’s time to bring in a professional plumber. Sizzling, hissing, or cracks? Your water heater might just need a good flush! 

Water heaters usually last around 8-12 years, but it all depends on how well you take care of them. If yours is getting up there in age, it might be worth thinking about getting a new one. 

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

2. Clean Your Sump Pump   

For homes with a sump pump, remember that early spring marks the start of high-water tables. It’s the rainy season, after all! So, making sure your sump pump is good to go and can handle the load can prevent disasters like basement flooding. Protecting your stuff and your home’s structure is always a smart move! 

  • Test the Response: First off, make sure your sump pump is good to go. Just pour a bucket of water into the sump pit to see if the pump kicks in as it should. If it does not kick on 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 give us a call so we can come diagnose and resolve the issue for you! 
  • Clear the Pit: Make sure to clear out any debris or sediment that might have built up in the pit. Check for loose debris or particles inside that could clog the pump and make it less effective. If you see any, just gently remove it. Also, double-check that the sump pump lid is snugly in place to avoid any debris falling in. And keep the area around the sump pump tidy and clutter-free to avoid clogs and other plumbing issues! 

3. Clean Your Indoor Drains   

April showers bring…clog problems? Well, that’s not quite how the saying goes! Simply put, spring rain can really test your drains. Debris buildup can block proper drainage, causing water backup or clogs – something you’d rather steer clear of if you can! So, keep those drains clean and clear to stay spring-ready by checking them beforehand. 

  • Kitchen Sink: If you’ve got a garbage disposal, give it a whirl to make sure everything’s running smoothly and the water’s flowing right. This kitchen buddy deserves some love too. You can keep it fresh by cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar, or add a splash of lemon juice for a nice scent! Skip the harsh drain cleaner chemicals as they could mess up your pipes. 
  • Bathroom Sink, Tub, Shower & Toilet: You might want to check your bathroom drains from time to time to keep them clean and free of any gunk or blockages. Simply take out the drain stoppers and screens in your bathroom sink, tubs, and showers, and clear away any hair or buildup. Once you’ve done that, test things out by running water to ensure everything is flowing smoothly. Also, make sure your toilets are flushing properly and not having any issues. 
  • Floor Drains: Sweep around your floor drains and tidy up any stray hair, dust, or loose bits. You can even pour some hot water down the drains to keep them primed for use. If you feel they need a bit more cleaning, vinegar, and baking soda work well too. Just rinse everything away thoroughly with water afterward, taking extra care to leave no residue buildup behind. 

4. Clean Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

Let’s head outside! Your gutters and downspouts play a key role in guiding water away from your home. So, you want to make sure to add them to your spring-cleaning checklist! Blocked gutters can lead to water collecting around your foundation, causing more issues. With winter nearly gone and heavy rainfall on the way, your gutters might be filled with unexpected debris and loose leaves blocking the water flow.  

*First and foremost, make sure to prioritize safety. If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder or lack the proper tools to do so, it’s totally fine to reach out to a professional for help instead.   

  • Check the Gutters: Grab your ladder, gloves, and cleaning gear to tackle those gutters. They might not need cleaning just yet, but it’s good to check before the April showers really come pouring down! Be sure to clear any leaves or loose debris from your gutters if you do find anything that needs to be cleared away. 
  • Check the Downspouts: Don’t forget about those downspouts when checking your gutters. They’re just as important for your gutter system. Your gutters might be clean, but if the downspouts are clogged, the water needs somewhere to go. So, check them, too. You can also take out the bottom piece to make sure it’s clear, remove any leaves or twigs, and pop it back in place. If necessary, use a downspout extension to redirect water further away. 
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It’s pretty common for leaves, petals, sticks, and mud to pile up over drains. They might have built up over your outdoor drains in winter and could still happen in spring. Just take a quick look around your yard and house at all the outdoor drains to make sure nothing’s blocking them. If you spot anything that needs clearing, just grab a rake or outdoor broom and take care of it. 

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

Spring marks the start of new beginnings. It’s also a good time to check your plumbing system to make sure it’s ready for the warmer months ahead. By adding these four plumbing checks to your seasonal home maintenance routine, you can avoid potential issues and extend the life of your plumbing system. Please remember, for more complex tasks, it’s wise to reach out to a professional plumber like Five Star Cincinnati Plumbing

Call Five Star Cincinnati Plumbing today at (513) 204-9944, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!