5 Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tips
Many people like to start out the spring season with a little spring cleaning. In addition to going through your closets and donating things you don’t need any longer, this is also a great time to check your home’s plumbing. By engaging in a little Spring plumbing maintenance, you may find tiny leaks in your pipes and other issues that you can deal with now instead of discovering them when they’re larger (and much more expensive) issues. Here are five maintenance tips to perform on your plumbing during the early spring.
Look for Leaks
The first thing to do is to do a visual inspection of all of the pipes in your home. Turn on the water, then look under the sink or go into the basement and watch for leaks. If you see any water that wasn’t there before, even if you can’t immediately tell where the leak is coming from, contact an Indiana plumbing company. The leak could be in a wall or other place you can’t see.
Inspect Your Hot Water Tank
Your hot water tank can also develop leaks, especially if it’s over ten years old. Even if you don’t see any leaks, you may want to consider replacing the tank if it’s not an energy-efficient model.
Check the Toilets
After looking for leaks in the sinks, be sure to take a look at the toilet. Even if you don’t see water around the toilet, there could still be a leak in the tank. One way of checking this is to add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. Let it set for an hour (do not flush the toilet). If you see any color in the bowl, it indicates a leak in the tank.
Test Your Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump in your basement, testing it should be part of your spring plumbing maintenance. Add water to the sump pit, and make certain the pump comes on, drains it, and then shuts off.
Inspect Outdoor Drains, Gutters, and Faucets
Don’t forget to check your exterior plumbing faucets and drains, too. Make sure everything is clear of debris and can drain correctly. Also check your exterior faucets for leaks.
If you’ve discovered any leaks or if you’ve seen any water in unusual places, you need to work with one of the best Indiana plumbers before the leaks become worse. By taking the time to check for leaks and other issues, you can reduce the risk to your home and your family plus save money in the long run.
Top Tricks About Drain Cleaning You Wish You Knew
A clogged drain can quickly become a nightmare, especially if it results in sewage or garbage backup. There are a number of things that can cause a drain to back up. Some of these include food waste, grease, paper products, and even common chemicals used in the home. Sometimes, you can deal with these clogs yourself. However, other times, you may need to call in a professional Indiana plumbing company to deal with them. If you’re looking at a clogged drain, whether it’s a sink, toilet, or shower, here are a few things you can try to get rid of the clog yourself before calling in the experts.
Try Hot Water
One of the first and easiest tricks to try to get rid of a clog is to pour hot water down the drain. Even if you’re not dealing with a clog, you should routinely flush out your pipes with hot water. This helps to get rid of any buildup. The combination of the heat and the force of the water being pushed through the pipes helps dislodge clogs and other debris that has attached itself to the pipes. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work right away. If possible, run the hot water for up to 15 minutes. This method may not necessarily work if the drain is fully clogged since the water will backup. However, it can help with slow drains.
Use Basic Plumbing Tools
You likely already own a plunger. These common tools can often handle most basic clogs without the need of experienced Indiana Plumbers. While standard toilet plungers work great for bathrooms, they may be a little too large for use in the sink. However, they do make smaller sink plungers that help you deal with those clogs.
However, you do need to know how to best use the plunger. Most people place it over the drain and push down as hard and as fast as they can. That’s not the most effective technique. Instead, you want to cover the drain. Then, you should plunge up and down in a fluid movement for up to two minutes. Don’t use a lot of force. Instead, the goal is to build up pressure from making steady, continuous movements.
Note that when plunging a sink or bathtub, make certain the overflow vent is covered. Otherwise, you won’t be able to create the suction you need.
Try a Drain Snake
Another useful common household tool is the drain snake. Snakes come in different sizes. Most home snakes are between six and ten feet long and have a corkscrew-like end. You feed the metal cord down into the drain. Then, you turn the snake’s handle to extend it further and further until you hit the clog. From there, you use the handle to spin the snake so the corkscrew part digs into it. Finally, you pull the snake out, bringing the clog out with it. If your blockage is much further down in the pipe or is very large, you may need professional drain cleaning services. Experts have 50-foot or longer drain snakes that are powered. That allows them to remove large clogs that have worked their way down into the pipe.
Make Your Own Drain Cleaning Agent
The harsh de-clogging agents you can purchase from many stores are sometimes effective. However, they can also damage pipes and may actually cause more issues down the line. Fortunately, there is a simple homemade cleaning agent you can make that often dissolves clogs. Simply pour a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain followed by a cup of vinegar. The reaction of the two, as most people know, creates a foaming solution. This solution can help break down the clog without damaging the pipes. After the baking soda and vinegar combination has sat in the drain for about five minutes, pour several cups of boiling water down the drain. In many cases, this method will open the drain and save you from calling an Indiana drain cleaning company.
Get a Soda
There’s actually another type of DIY cleaner you can use to remove clogs. However, it’s a little more unconventional than baking soda and vinegar. First, you’ll need a can of cola made with sugar. Any brand will do—Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, etc. You don’t need to mix the soda with anything. Just pour it down the drain and let it sit. The phosphoric acid in the soda will start dissolving the clog. In some cases, soda has been shown to be more effective than some of the products you can buy at the store.
Practice Preventative Measures
Instead of waiting until you have a clog, you should practice some preventative measures that keep your drains and pipes clean and open. Many experts that handle drain cleaning in Indiana recommend that you check your drains once a month to make certain they’re draining at the correct speed. They also recommend having an expert come out once a year. At that time, they will do a full professional inspection, especially if you believe something may be wrong.
Another type of preventative measure is understanding what you can and cannot put down the drain. Flushing wet wipes or paper towels down the toilet can cause a blockage. Putting grease, paper products, or stringy foods down the garbage disposal or sink can also result in clogs. Food wrappers, bones, and other non-food items should also not be put down the drain.
Know When to Call in the Expert
While using one or several of these techniques together can help you deal with minor clogs, they won’t always work. Knowing when it’s time to call in one of the best plumbers in Indiana is just as important as trying to handle the clog yourself. This is especially true if water is backing up in the sink, tub, or toilet. You don’t want to find your home flooded due to a clog. It is certainly worth trying a few of the methods on this list to see if you can deal with the clog on your own. However, don’t hesitate to call in help if you need it.