Did you get to spend time in the sunshine this weekend? This is West Texas so we could still get hit with a cold snap, but let’s hope the snow is behind us.
The warm temperatures are turning our thoughts toward spring. We “spring clean” our houses. It’s also a good idea to do a seasonal check on all our plumbing. Here’s some suggestions on what to check to be sure your plumbing and everything related is ready for the upcoming months.
Do a walk around your home, checking all external faucets and pipes. Freezing winter temperatures cause materials to expand and contract. Cold temperatures will find the weak spots in pipes and can cause them to crack. Inspect all your exposes pipes to make sure they “weathered the winter”. Also look for any faucets that are dripping.
Clean out your gutters and downspouts. If you are physically able, remove all the dead leaves and winter debris from your gutters. Birds sometimes like to build nests in downspouts so make sure those are clear, too. The purpose of gutters is to catch the water and direct it away from the house. If your gutters are full of debris the water will overflow and collect next to the foundation of your home. Over time, this can cause problems with your foundation. And if you have a basement, it can contribute to leaks.
Check for hidden leaks. Before you go to sleep at night, take note of your water meter reading. Write down the numbers. In the morning, after you’ve not used any water overnight, check the meter again. If the numbers are higher, you have a lead somewhere. Call the professionals at Sinclair and we will help you identify and repair it.
Inside your home, check all your faucets for leaks. If your faucets are all turned tight and yet your faucet drips, you may have a bad rubber seal. Remove the aerator, clean it and pull out the rubber seal inside. If it’s cracked and no longer pliable, replace it. If it still leaks, call your professional plumber as it may be a bigger issue.
Speaking of aerators, spring is a good time to clean them. Take them off your faucets and use an old toothbrush to scrub them free of any mineral scale. Give them a good rinse before putting them back on. Take your shower heads off and soak them in vinegar for a while. This will loosen any mineral scale that has built up. Rinse and put them back on for free flowing water.
While we’re on the topic of mineral deposits, now is a good time to flush your water heater. Be sure to check the website for your particular water heater. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to flush several gallons of water from the tank. This will get rid of sediment and minerals that can shorten the life of your water heater.
If your water heater is over 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. New models are much more energy efficient. Also, if your tank hasn’t been regularly maintained (flushing, etc) it may die on you sooner than later. If you’re unsure how old your heater is, look at the first four numbers on the serial number. Those represent the month and year of manufacture.
The best thing to do in the spring is to call the experts at Sinclair. We will give all your plumbing and cooling systems a thorough inspection to be sure you’re ready for the new season. Give us a call today at 806-749-2665 !