With temperatures that are rising and the desire to be outside in the sunshine enjoying the summer air it’s easy to perform more of the tasks around your house during this season than any other. During the spring you can’t often predict the weather or temperatures and the fall tends to lead to an early onset of winter and a desire to close up the home to help protect against the elements, but summer is the best season for checking your plumbing and preparing your home for the upcoming colder seasons.
Starting in the bathroom you should check your entire home for plumbing issues. Because summer is also the time when more people buy a home than any other season, these tips can help you know if the home you’re considering is going to give you plumbing issues to handle in the near future. First you should check around the base of the toilet for water damage by straddling the toilet and rocking back and forth on your feet. if the floor feels spongy at all you may have a weak floor underneath which is a sign of water damage.
Around your bathtub you can look for damage by pressing the tiles where the contact the tub. When you do this your walls should not give way or feel soft at all. Look around your vanity cabinet and under the sink for any leaks and test the faucet of both the sink and the tub. As a preventive measure you should make sure everyone who lives in your home knows to put only toilet paper down the toilet, nothing else because other items won’t dissolve and could cause serious clogging to occur in the pipes of your home.
Next you can check the water flow of your home. This is accomplished by turning on the water to your bathtub at the same time as the kitchen sink. If there is a lower water flow in either area you may have a problem with calcium and mineral deposits in the pipes of your home. This can be a major issue that could lead to water damage down the road; you should call a professional to assess the problem and help fix and get rid of this buildup.
Another way you need to check the pipes in your home is to look at the exposed pipes in your basement. Check these pipes for signs of leakage and breakage. If you have put insulation around your pipes in the past, now is a great time to replace this insulation and examine your pipes once again to ensure you don’t have any broken pipes or joints. Next you want to check the main line cleanout and make sure you can access it easily in case you would need to call a plumber at a future date and they need to reach this part of the plumbing of your home to help in the removal of a clog.
Summer is also the right season for you to check your water heater. When you look at the serial number, the first four numbers are the month and year it was made. If your water heater is over fifteen years old it’s to consider replacing the water heater. Inspect the tank of your water heater and make sure it’s not rusty. If it is this could be a sign you need to replace it as well. Now is also a good time to replace the heating elements to ensure you continue to enjoy hot water all year long.
Another area that you should inspect is your kitchen. You may have a dishwasher, garbage disposal and ice maker in the kitchen along with the sink. All these items take some type of plumbing. Look under the sink and inspect the disposer for a good connection and the pipes to ensure they are free of any leaks. Look around in the cabinet to make sure you don’t see any signs of water damage, if you do; it’s time to figure out what’s leaking inside this area of your home. Check the ice maker to ensure no leaks are present leading to the refrigerator or inside the freezer.
Last on your list is your washing machine. Check the hose for ruptures and the supply and drain lines to ensure they are in good working order. Run the washer one time without any clothes in it and make sure the water flows freely in and out of the machine without any leaking at all.
By performing some of these simple tasks in the summer you can prevent plumbing issues during the harsher months when you certainly don’t want to get wet and deal with water that could freeze or damage your home.