With the onset of spring, attention naturally shifts towards the vibrant renewal of the season. For many homeowners, spring presents an optimal opportunity for cleaning. Whether it involves deep cleaning or tackling an organizational project that has lingered on your to-do list, remember not to overlook your plumbing system. After enduring the winter months, your plumbing system could benefit from seasonal maintenance to ensure it operates smoothly and is ready for the upcoming rainy season. 

Neglecting specific components may result in costly repairs in the future. Today, Kettering Plumbing & Drain aims to equip you with our practical spring preparation tips to help safeguard your home and plumbing system. Prepare confidently for the spring season with peace of mind! 

1. The Water Heater   

Your water heater serves as a reliable asset, ensuring you have hot water whenever you need it. As spring approaches, it’s easy to overlook your water heater’s maintenance. Yet, now is the ideal time to conduct a thorough inspection and address any upkeep requirements. 

  • Temperature Check: To ensure optimal functionality, verify that your water heater is set to the recommended temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly lower according to the CPSC – The Consumer Product Safety Commission). 
  • Visual Check: Inspect your water heater for any signs of corrosion, including the valves and connections. Should you observe rust, corrosion, or any unusual appearances we recommend reaching out to a professional to evaluate the situation. While it may be nothing serious, addressing any unnoticed issues promptly is crucial to prevent potential escalation into more significant and costly problems. In the same regard, you should also look for dust buildup on or around the water heater. It’s normal for this area to accumulate dust and loose particles. If this is true with your water heater, go ahead and take a moment to gently sweep around It. You may use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment if that makes it easier for you to complete the task. Just don’t forget to practice caution and move very carefully. Lastly, if the unit has dust on top of it, carefully wipe down the water heater with a damp cloth. Just make sure it’s wiped dry afterward. 
  • Audible Check: Unusual noises serve as early warning signs, suggesting the system may be strained for various reasons. If you detect an unfamiliar sound, it’s a cue to seek professional assistance. Sounds like sizzling, hissing, or crackling could indicate the need to drain your water heater. 

Please note, a water heater typically has a lifespan of around 8-12 years, depending on maintenance. If yours is nearing this range, it may be prudent to consider a replacement. 

Just for Fun: Did you know the first day of spring this year in 2024 is on the 19th of March? 

2. The Sump Pump   

For households equipped with a sump pump, it’s important to note that early spring marks the onset of high-water tables. This period signifies increased rainfall, reflecting the necessity to verify the sump pump’s optimal condition to avert potential disasters like basement flooding.  

  • Test Check: It is important to ensure that your sump pump is operational and primed for action. A simple test involves pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit to gauge the pump’s response. If it does not activate as it is supposed to, you can try troubleshooting it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Click here for information on how to troubleshoot your sump pump or feel free to give us a call so we can come diagnose and resolve the issue for you! 
  • Pit Check: Remove any debris or sediment that has been collected in the pit. Then make sure there are no loose particles inside the pit that could block the pump and reduce its efficiency. If you discover any debris, gently remove it. Also, ensure the sump pump lid is securely in place over the pit to prevent loose debris from falling in. Additionally, always keep the area around the sump pump clean and clutter-free to avoid potential clogs or other plumbing issues! 

3. The Indoor Drains   

During the rainy spring season, it’s crucial to ensure your interior drains are clear of any clogs to prevent standing water and potential overflow.  

  • Kitchen Sink: If you have a garbage disposal, activate it to confirm its functionality and proper water drainage. As a vital kitchen component frequently used, it benefits from occasional tender loving care. You can utilize natural solutions such as baking soda, vinegar, or even lemon juice for a fresh scent. Just avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners to prevent potential damage to your drain system. 
  • Bathroom Sink, Tub, Shower & Toilet: Begin by gently removing drain stoppers and screens from bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers. Then, proceed to clear any hair or debris buildup. Once potential blockages are eliminated, test the drains by running water to confirm smooth flow. Lastly, you’ll need to verify that all your toilets flush properly and do not run (leak) constantly. 
  • Floor Drains: To ensure your floor drains are in top condition, sweep around them, clearing away hair, dust, and loose particles. For a thorough cleaning, consider pouring hot water down the floor drains. If further cleaning is needed, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be effective. Remember to rinse everything away completely with water afterward. 

4. The Gutters, Downspouts, & Outdoor Drains   

The role of your gutters and downspouts in directing water away from your home is pivotal. It’s crucial to include them in your spring-cleaning routine to prevent water pooling around your foundation, potentially causing damage or other issues. As winter ends and spring begins, your gutters may be obstructed with unexpected materials hindering water flow. Therefore, ensuring your gutters and downspouts are ready for the upcoming spring season is highly advisable.  

*In all circumstances, it is paramount to prioritize safety first. If you are unsure about your safety on a ladder or lack the appropriate tools for the task, we recommend seeking professional assistance without delay. 

  • Check the Gutters: Prepare your ladder, gloves, and cleaning tools for gutter maintenance. It’s wise to inspect them now, even if they may not need cleaning just yet, to be ready before the April showers arrive full-force. Please, carefully remove any leaves or loose debris you may find in your gutters. 
  • Check the Downspouts: Downspouts are a crucial part of your gutter system that shouldn’t be overlooked during your gutter check. Even if your gutters are clear, obstructed downspouts can cause water drainage issues. Confirm your downspouts are free of debris by checking and clearing them. You can also carefully remove the bottom piece to inspect and remove any leaves or twigs. In addition, you can use a downspout extension to redirect water if necessary.  
  • Check the Outdoor Drains: It is common for leaves, flower petals, sticks, and mud to accumulate around drains. This buildup might occur during winter and spring. Conduct a brief inspection of all outdoor drains to ensure they are clear, and inspect them throughout the springtime as well. If any obstructions are found, use a rake or outdoor broom to clear them carefully. 

By maintaining clear gutters, downspouts, and outdoor drains, you are upholding the integrity of your plumbing and fortifying your home against erosion and flooding.  

Spring represents a period of new beginnings, making it an opportune time to assess the health of your plumbing system. By incorporating these four plumbing checks as part of your seasonal home maintenance routine, you not only mitigate potential disasters but also extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. Remember, tasks beyond your comfort level may necessitate professional expertise, so reaching out to a qualified plumber like Kettering Plumbing & Drain is the best course of action. 

Call Kettering Plumbing & Drain today at (937) 764-3788, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!