Plumbing tips for spring

Updated on March 4, 2024

3-minute read

Plumbing tips for spring

Updated on March 4, 2024

3-minute read

Checking your home’s plumbing system is an important part of annual spring home maintenance. A regular once-over can help you find minor problems before they become big, expensive and stressful ones!

Plus, we typically use more water for cleaning and watering lawns and gardens in the warmer months. If your plumbing system is in good shape, it can improve efficiency, prevent breakdowns and even help lower utility bills.

Plumber checking pipe with clipboard in hand
Plumber checking pipe with clipboard in hand
Plumber checking pipe with clipboard in hand

Here are our plumbing tips for spring:

1. Inspect faucets and exposed pipes for leaks

Check your sink, bath and shower faucets for leaks. Even a slow drip can add up to a lot of wasted water and a higher water bill over time. While you’re at it, check the pipes underneath the sink and any exposed pipes in the basement.  

2. Check for leaky toilets

A leaky toilet can cause a lot of damage. If it’s a leak inside the toilet, it can cause a surprising increase in your water bill. An external leak can cause water damage to your floor and the ceiling below if the bathroom is on an upper level!

Check for external leaks: First, feel the floor around the toilet. If it’s wet, that could mean a failed joint or broken seal. Moisture can also be caused by condensation on the outside of the toilet, so wipe it down and wait a few minutes before checking again.

Check for internal leaks: Lift your toilet tank's lid and put 3-4 drops of food colouring in the water. Wait 30 minutes and check the bowl. If the colouring has made its way into your bowl, it’s leaking!  

If you suspect a leak, in either case, call a plumber.

3. Check your washing machine hoses

Pull your clothes washing machine from the wall, checking the floor for water or water stains. Then, inspect the water supply hoses to the machine from end to end. If the hoses are made of rubber, look for cracks or bulges. Unfortunately, rubber hoses deteriorate with age and could cause leaks, so you need to replace those every so often. Generally, if your washer hoses are older than five years old or show any signs of damage, you should replace them.  

4. Clean your sump pump

Inspecting and cleaning your home’s sump pump can really save you from damage and repair costs if you get water in the basement. Your pump’s owner’s manual should give instructions for removing and cleaning the pump. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the pump screen or inlet every three to four months. The manual will also tell you how to test the pump to ensure it’s working after you’ve cleaned it.

If you’re unsure about this job, contact a qualified plumber to inspect and service the sump pump. If working on the sump pump yourself, don’t forget to disconnect it from the power source first!

5. Test the outdoor faucets

Your outdoor faucets are at the most risk of freezing and damage during winter. You can prevent damage by winterizing them each fall. It’s easy. First, remove the hoses and open the taps. Then, close the water supply valve to those faucets.

Before using them this spring, you should check them for leaks. First, turn on the water supply valve (assuming it was shut down over the winter). You might hear rushing air or pops. Then, close the valve and check the faucet for leaks. Then, head inside and check the joining pipes for drips, too. 

6. Turn the valve of the water main

After years of resting in the open position, your home’s main water shutoff valve can get stiff. Give the valve a few twists, turn it counterclockwise until it's closed, and then back to the original open position. This can help loosen it up.

If you’re in the market for an upgrade, consider installing an app-controlled smart water valve. This technology allows you to turn the water supply on and off from any location on your mobile device. This will be handy if you need to control it while on vacation or in a plumbing emergency when you need the water off pronto!

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