With the onset of spring, our focus naturally shifts to the vibrant renewal of the season. Yet, for numerous homeowners, spring presents an opportune moment for cleaning – be it a thorough cleanse or addressing an organizational endeavor that has long been pending. Do remember to include your plumbing system in your checklist! Following the winter months, it’s prudent to provide your plumbing system with seasonal upkeep to ensure it functions optimally and is prepared for the approaching season. 

Neglecting certain components may result in expensive repairs in the future. Today, Middletown Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with our practical spring preparation tips. These will assist in protecting your home and plumbing system, offering peace of mind as you proactively get it ready for the rainy spring season. 

1. Clean and Check Your Water Heater   

Your water heater stands as a reliable asset, consistently supplying heated water for your comfort. As spring approaches, it might be easy to overlook inspecting your water heater. Yet now is an ideal moment to assess it for any necessary upkeep. 

  • Temperature Check: To begin, it is advisable to verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower as per the CPSC – The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Visual Check: It has been a prolonged winter season. So, you should inspect your water heater meticulously for any indications of corrosion, focusing on the valves and connections. Should you observe rust, corrosion, or any anomalies, we recommend promptly seeking assistance from a professional to evaluate the extent of the damage. While it may appear insignificant, uncovering any unnoticed issues from the past few months and addressing any underlying concerns promptly is crucial to prevent potential escalation into more extensive and costly problems later. 
  • Audible Check: Unusual noises serve as early indicators of potential system strain. If you detect unfamiliar sounds, it is advisable to seek professional assistance promptly. Sounds like sizzling, hissing, or crackling may suggest the need for water heater maintenance, but a professional plumber will be able to verify this. 
  • Cleaning Check: You may find the area around the water heater full of dust and dirt. If this is the case with yours, take a moment to gently sweep around the unit. You can use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if needed. Just be sure to practice caution and move slowly. If the unit itself is layered with dust, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Be sure to wipe it dry afterward. 

A water heater generally has a lifespan of approximately 8-12 years, varying based on maintenance practices. If your unit is approaching this range, it may be prudent to contemplate a replacement. 

Fun Fact to Remember: Did you know the first day of spring this year is on March 19, 2024? 

2. Clean and Check Your Sump Pump   

For residences equipped with a sump pump, it is important to note that the early spring signifies the onset of elevated water tables. Given the rainy season, it is imperative to verify the optimal condition of your sump pump and ensure it is prepared to manage the workload effectively. This proactive approach can mitigate potential disasters such as basement flooding, safeguarding both your personal possessions and the structural soundness of your dwelling.  

  • Response Check: Verify the functionality of your sump pump and its preparedness for action. This can be achieved by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to assess the pump’s response. If the sump pump does not turn on or respond as it should, you can try troubleshooting it. Click here for some information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump or feel free to give us a call so we can come diagnose your issue for you! 
  • Pit Check: Remove any debris or sediment that may have accumulated within the pit. Ensure there are no loose particles that could impede the pump’s operation and diminish its efficiency. If detected, remove them carefully. Moreover, verify that the sump pump lid is firmly secured over the pit to prevent any loose debris from entering. Lastly, maintain the vicinity of the sump pump tidy and free of obstructions. This practice will help avert potential plumbing issues from arising.   

3. Clean and Check Your Indoor Drains   

April showers can challenge your home’s drains during the rainy spring season. Debris buildup can hinder proper drainage, causing standing water and potential overflow. Ensure thorough drain maintenance to stay prepared for spring. 

  • Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, activate it to confirm proper functionality and drainage. If it’s in need of a cleaning, natural solutions such as baking soda and vinegar can effectively clean your kitchen sink drain. For a pleasant fragrance, consider using lemon juice. Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners as they may inflict harm on your drain system. 
  • Bathroom Sink, Tub, Shower & Toilet: You’ll also want to make sure all bathroom drains are clean and clear of any buildup or clogs. Gently remove drain stoppers and screens from bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers., then clear any hair and debris buildup. Once you’ve confirmed the removal of potential blockages, test it by running water to ensure proper drainage. Last but not least, verify toilets flush and drain correctly without constant running or backups. 
  • Floor Drains: Sweep the area around your floor drains and remove any stray hair, dust, or loose particles. Additionally, flushing hot water down the drains helps to maintain their functionality. For deeper cleaning, consider using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Just make sure to rinse any remaining residue off the drain with warm water. 

4. Clean and Check Your Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

The function of your gutters and downspouts in diverting water away from your residence is paramount. So, incorporating this task into your spring-cleaning regimen is absolutely necessary, as blocked gutters may lead to water accumulation near your foundation, potentially causing what could have been a preventable issue. 

*It is crucial to prioritize safety. Therefore, if you are uncomfortable with using a ladder or lack the proper tools for the task, consider seeking assistance from a qualified professional.   

  • Check the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools for gutter maintenance. While they may not require cleaning immediately, it’s advisable to inspect their condition before the onset of heavy April showers and clean them if needed! 
  • Check the Downspouts: Downspouts should not be disregarded during your gutter inspection. They play an equally significant role in your gutter system. While your gutters may be clean and prepared to handle rainwater, clogged downspouts can impede proper drainage. If necessary, you can cautiously detach the lower section of the downspout to check for blockages. Next, clear any debris like leaves and twigs from this section, making sure to reattach it afterward.  
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It is common for loose leaves, flower petals, sticks, and debris to accumulate over drains. We recommend conducting a thorough inspection of all outdoor drains on your property to ensure they are not obstructed. If you identify any blockages, clear them away carefully using a rake or outdoor broom. 

By ensuring proper maintenance of your gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains, you are safeguarding the structural integrity of your plumbing system and enhancing your home’s resilience against erosion and flooding. 

By integrating these four plumbing inspections into your seasonal home maintenance regimen, you not only avert potential disasters but also extend the lifespan of your plumbing infrastructure. Bear in mind that certain tasks may necessitate professional skills, and it is advisable to engage a certified plumber such as Middletown Plumbing & Drain for tasks beyond your expertise. 

Call Middletown Plumbing & Drain today at (937) 298-9979, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!