Spring Cleaning: Plumbing Edition

Spring cleaning time has arrived! It is time to start fresh and clean your home or office. Closets, garages, basements, outdoor spaces, and every other room get the attention they need. Don’t overlook your plumbing! Anything that carries or holds water for you go through a lot of wear and tear, and therefore requires some spring cleaning too. Give your plumbing the TLC that it needs.

Here are a few places to start:

Water Heaters

If you have not looked at your water heater in a while it may be time to give it some attention. First check to make sure it is set to 120 degrees F for efficiency. It is also a good idea to have a professional do a wellness check as part of your spring cleaning routine. They can flush the system as well as check for corrosion. Some parts may need to be replaced, which comes with age. If the heater is 15 years or older you may need to replace it. Consider looking into tankless water heaters. They last longer and are more efficient. If you would like to be more efficient with your current water heater, insulating the pipes is a great idea to avoid loss of heat while water is in your pipes.

Shower, Bath and Sinks

Minerals can build up on showerheads, spouts, and faucets. The easiest way to clean your plumbing fixtures is to soak them in a vinegar and hot water solution. Don’t worry you don’t have to take anything off! Place a plastic bag filled with vinegar and water over the showerhead or spout. Secure it in place with a rubber band and let it soak for a couple of hours. Then scrub with a bristled brush. Enjoy your shiny fixtures!

It may also be a good idea to snake the tub or shower drain. Though there may not be a clog now, there is usually debris ready to build up in the drain. While you are spring cleaning, stay ahead of the game and tackle the problem before it starts to back up the drain. If a faucet has a chronic leaking problem, now is also the time to fix it.

Garbage Disposal

Just think of all the gunk that has gone into your garbage disposal in the last couple weeks alone. Now how often have you cleaned that garbage disposal? Cleaning the splash guard only requires soap, water, and a sponge but the rest may be hard to tackle. You can get the rest generally very clean by grinding ice cubes and rock salt. You can also let the vinegar and baking soda dissolve much of the goo by letting it soak then running the disposal with hot water.

Pipes

Now that you are deep into cleaning and checking your plumbing, check for leaks in your pipes. Check your ceiling and walls for water stains. Listening for any loud or abnormal noises coming from your pipes can help detect problems as well. Be sure to check under your sinks for leaks. If you are not confident in what you are looking for, you can always hire a professional to look at your pipes for any abnormalities.

Toilets

Time to deep clean your toilet! Include the hard to reach spaces behind it that you may not reach regularly. This is also a good opportunity to check for cracks and leaks. Here is a simple test you can perform yourself to check for leaks in your toilet. All you need to do is remove the cover from your toilet tank and add a few drops of food coloring. Leave your toilet alone and don’t use or flush it for 20 minutes. When the time is up, check the toilet bowl for any colored water. If there is color in the bowl then there is a leak and you should call a professional.

Many of these spring cleaning projects you can do yourself at home. Others, like fixing a water heater or a leaky toilet, require a professional. We at Valley Fire Protection and Plumbing can help! Contact us today and we can help get your plumbing spring cleaning done.

By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.

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