March is here and with the temperatures starting to heat up it’s time to start the yearly tradition of Spring Cleaning! Now, we’re not here to talk about how to rearrange your furniture or the best way to clean your windows but there is plenty you can do yourself to get your plumbing ready for the new season! This time on the Economy Plumbing Services blog – Spring Cleaning Your Plumbing!
Tips to Spring Clean Your Plumbing!
These are the easiest DIY steps you can take to care for your plumbing.
Check Your Pipes
First, take a look at all your pipes in and around your home. You’re looking for leaks and drips, you’d know if you had a burst pipe, that’s for sure. When water freezes it expands and that can cause pipes to crack or their fittings to get loosened when the ice thaws, causing leaks and drips. So grab a flashlight and check out all your pipes, under the sinks, in the cabinets, in the garage, and outside – Wherever they’re immediately visible take a look and if you notice anything that seems off, make a note of it!
Tend to the Toilet
While you’re cleaning your bathrooms as a part of a no doubt much more robust Spring Cleaning process, make sure you give the toilet all the attention it needs! Make sure you clean out behind the toilet and inspect a few areas: the base where it connects to the floor, the wall and the pipes connecting it, the flusher, and inside the tank. If anything is loose, tighten it. A lot of the upkeep and repairs for a toilet are surprisingly doable yourself.
Now drains don’t just need attention when they’re clogged! Like so many things a bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way to keeping your drains working as they should. Use a drain snake or some cleaner to clear away any debris or clogs that might be starting to form. By regularly clearing away anything gathering on the insides of your pipes you’ll prevent clogs from ever developing. Nice!
Start by using a drain snake to clear any immediate clogs. Simply take the snake, insert it into the drain, feeding it as far as it will go. Then slowly but firmly pull it back out of the drain to catch and free any clogs.
After you’ve used the snake, if you’d like to use drain cleaners or white vinegar rinses now is the time. With the biggest problems cleared away, the drain cleaners can break down the more difficult to snake debris.
And hey, drainage is huge. Come back next time to learn more about the power of drainage.
Breakdown Mineral Buildup
While you’re working on all the drains, look up at all of your faucets, including your sinks and the showerheads. When water flows through these fixtures, the minerals that are in your water will gather on the faucets. This can create a buildup that will ruin your water flow and can cause further problems. Thankfully these are pretty easy to handle!
Get yourself some white vinegar, plastic baggies, and rubber bands or tape. Fill a plastic sandwich bag with white vinegar and slide it over the showerhead. Using the rubber bands or tape, secure the bag to the pipe or faucet and allow it to sit. The vinegar will work at the minerals breaking and freeing them up.
While you wait, why not handle the soap scum and other gross gatherings in the tub or shower. Any accumulation like this can cause problems down the line so it’s best to break them down now. The sooner the better!
After the vinegar has had time to work its magic, about 30 minutes, you can remove the baggie, give the showerhead or faucet a quick wipe down and turn the water on. Any lingering mineral build-ups should be blasted away with the water. Nice!
Garbage Disposal … Disposition?
Alright listen, we’re running out of titles I guess! Anyways. While you’re working with your sinks, take a look at your garbage disposals. Most garbage disposals have a pretty tough job, breaking down food waste so that it can get washed down the drain. There are a couple of different at-home garbage disposal cleaning processes, some involving ice and salt, others that use mostly vinegar. Find one you like and get to it.
Now with a freshly cleaned disposal, treat it right and remember what should and shouldn’t go down it in the future. Just because it can handle it, doesn’t mean it should.
Watch the Water Heater
Have you checked your water heater recently? It’s something you should be looking at more regularly than you’d think! For now, check the temperature and make sure it’s sitting at about 120 degrees. If you’ve never drained or flushed your water heater you might want to call in a plumber for the rest.
With all that taken care of your plumbing will be in decent shape! Make sure you stay on top of regular maintenance and if you noted any problems, or need help with more robust repairs, call a professional!
At Economy Plumbing Services we can help you with any job, from water heater maintenance to repiping a whole home!