Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it is time to tackle that home maintenance to-do list. This includes inspecting your home plumbing to identify potential problems that can easily turn into costly repairs if not addressed.
Inside Your Home
You should start by checking for hidden water leaks. Even a small drip or leak can add hundreds of dollars to your water bill over the course of a year. This is a simple process that does not require any specialized equipment.
- Inspect all indoor faucets and readily accessible pipes. Be sure to remove items from your under-the-sink cabinets to check for signs of mold, dampness, puddles, or watermarks.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the tank of each toilet. Check the bowl in about 30 minutes. If you see color in the water, your toilet is leaking.
- Read your water meter and then avoid using any water for at least two hours. At the end of that time, take a second meter reading. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak.
Outside of Your Home
Winter weather can take a toll on outdoor plumbing fixtures, so they should be inspected to ensure that they are ready for the spring and summer gardening season.
- Test all of your outdoor spigots to make sure that they function properly and are free of leaks.
- Check any plumbing vents to make sure that they are free of leaves and other debris.
- If you have a lawn irrigation system, inspect the sprinkler heads to ensure that they work properly.
- Check your washing machine, dishwasher, and other water-using appliances for any hoses that are worn, cracked or bulging.
- Flush your water heater, replace the anode rod, and test the pressure relief valve. Since this involves dealing with extremely hot water, this job is best left to a professional.
- Clean your faucet aerators and shower-heads by soaking them in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove the mineral buildup.
- Replace any dried out or missing caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks.