Spring has finally arrived, and along with the cleanup of the lawn comes the time for a check-up on your home’s plumbing. Inspect outdoor plumbing and plumbing in unheated areas of the home such as basements, or workshops first, as it is the most vulnerable to freezing. If leaks or damage has occurred, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land. Use the following plumbing inspection checklist to get you started:
Clean the gutters: Clogged gutters can overflow resulting in roof damage and/or water pooling near the foundation, potentially flooding the basement or crawlspace. Ensure downspouts are not damaged, and that splash guards efficiently drain water away from the foundation.
Install a backflow valve: During times of flooding, municipal sewer lines can be overwhelmed, resulting in sewage backing up into your home. A backflow prevention valve installed by a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land will prevent this from occurring.
Ensure plumbing vent pipes aren’t clogged: Birds, squirrels, and insects can clog ventilation pipes with nests and other debris. Biannual inspection is recommended. Ventilation for gas appliances should also be inspected, to ensure deadly carbon monoxide is ventilated outdoors, and not into your home.
Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs: Even though insulated, winter can be hard on outdoor plumbing. Inspect faucets for cracks and leaks. Placing a container beneath the faucet will result in water collecting if a slow leak is present that would otherwise be undetectable.
Other outdoor plumbing, such as sprinklers, hot tubs, outdoor kitchen sinks and pools should be inspected for cracks and leaks.
- Inspect exposed plumbing in the basement for leaks.
- Check faucets and pipes under the sinks for leaks.
- Inspect toilets for cracks in the tank and bowl. If any are present toilet replacement will be required to prevent water damage to your home.
- Add food coloring to the water inside the toilet tank. Check the bowl in 30 minutes. If the flapper is leaking, colored water will appear in the toilet bowl. If you need toilet repair contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land.
- Clean hard water deposits from the showerhead. Unscrew the showerhead and test an inconspicuous area with vinegar to ensure the finish won’t be damaged. Next, soak it in vinegar, or fill a sturdy plastic bag with vinegar; place it over the showerhead and secure with a thick rubber band. Soak 2 hours to overnight, then remove and gently scrub with a soft brush to remove remaining mineral deposits. Rinse, dry and apply Teflon plumbers tape to the pipe, and screw the showerhead back on. Check for leaks, and repeat with Teflon tape if necessary.
- Exercise shut off valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking. If your home lacks them, a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land can install them for you.
- Inspect dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker supply hoses for bulges, dry rot or leaks. Replace hoses showing signs of wear or those older than ten years. Replace with stainless steel hoses, which are durable and less prone to bursting than other types.
- For homes with a sump pump, ensure its operation by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit, or enough to raise the float, and trigger it to run. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems. If it fails to run, ensure it is plugged up and check the circuit breaker to ensure it is on. If it will not run contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land for repair.
- Drain the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment. Allow draining until sediment is no longer seen. Thereafter, drain 2 quarts every 3 months to remove sediment. If you maintain this schedule routinely, a full flush will not be required again. Failure to provide maintenance can result in increased energy use and premature failure of the appliance.
- Provide a water meter test to ensure there are no hidden leaks in your home. Read the meter and record it. Ensure all automatic water-using appliances are shut off, such as the ice maker. Perform the test when there is no one else home to use water. Return in an hour and recheck the meter. If the gauge has moved, there is a leak. Contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land for leak detection services and plumbing repair.
Prepare to enjoy warmer weather now by ensuring all of your plumbing is in good shape. We hope you found the plumbing inspection checklist useful. For expert plumbing repair and plumbing installation, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land today. We serve Sugar Land, Katy, Houston and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.