As we gear up for spring again, we find that homeowners often wonder what plumbing and home-related issues they should be on the lookout for. We’ve put together our top 5 recommended home prep steps out of many DIY steps you can take to prep your home for the season ahead. Here’s our checklist to get you started this spring.
1. Inspect Outside Hose Bibs
If you’re wondering, What is a hose bib? A hose bib is your outside spigot. It may be located in your garage, on the side of your house, or out back. You may have a few. A hose bib is the connection point for your yard house (or a kid’s mouth in those hot summer months!).
As Spring gets rolling, it’s important to check all of your hose bibs for leaks. Whether your home has knobbed, round plastic, or frost-free hose bibs, these faucets can develop leaks. When the weather starts to warm up, it’s a good idea to do a quick check of these exterior spigots to evaluate what your home and plumbing service needs might be for the season. The good news is that if you do have a leaky hose bib, these are often easy fixes.
2. Check Gutter Connections
You’ll also want to grab a ladder and make sure that for everywhere your home has a gutter downspout connection, it is secure. This an easy task to knock out quickly, and it can save a lot of headache down the road. Ensuring your gutters are properly connected to their exterior downspouts means you won’t get nasty waterfalls leaking into your yard and flooding a patch of grass or a flowerbed.
Securing your gutter downspout connection can be as simple as tightening a couple screws or adjusting the elbow connector to fit more snugly.
3. Check Downspout Lines
If your gutter and downspout are all set, it’s time to move on to the underground downspout drain line. A downspout drain line needs to flow freely. Similarly to a bad gutter downspout connection on the other end, you can get a backup if your drain line is clogged. To check that your underground drain line is unobstructed, first take a look at where the downspout runs into the ground. Is the downspout elbow in good shape? Do you see water coming out around the seam after it rains? Swapping in a new PVC elbow for the old one may solve the issue.
This video on Know How Now’s Youtube channel shows a creative way to test for a clogged drain line when there isn’t rain. You’ll need a drain snake plus cord, tape, and a rag, a DIY spirit, and a free afternoon! Otherwise, feel free to give us a call. One of our Columbus area technicians can test, diagnose, and fix any blockages in a jiff!
4. Flush Hot Water Tanks
Hot water tanks aren’t cheap. Whether you go with an electric hot water heater or a gas model, these babies are an investment. If you’re like us, you probably want to get the most life out of your tank that you possibly can. As we roll into March and April, it’s a great time to flush your hot water tank and remove all the buildup that has accumulated over the last year. Periodically flushing the tank is essential maintenance that will keep your investment in top shape for years to come.
If you think you may need a new water heater installed, we’ll be happy to take a look and give you our recommendation. If it turns out you do, present the technician with this coupon for $50 off a gas or electric water heater installation as long as the deal lasts!
5. Run Through Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist
Another quick DIY step to prepare your home for springtime is to run through your basic sump pump maintenance list.
Clear it out
Rocks, mud and other debris can clog your sump pump and cause it to operate poorly or malfunction completely. Clearing these out of your sump pump pit will help the system to run more efficiently. It will help you avoid flooding and other problems down the road.
To test your sump pump, simply reach in and lift the float switch until you hear the pump kick on. If you don’t hear the noise of your pump starting, your sump pump may need servicing. Homebuyer’s School has a helpful video that shows this process along with a few other useful tips.
Check your backup
If you have a backup sump pump, now’s also a good time to make sure the battery on it is in good shape. If your home is running on a single sump pump, you might consider having a residential plumber install a second one in your home. It’s a relatively inexpensive purchase and installation, and having a backup in place can make a world of difference in the event of a primary sump pump failure.
So there you have it! There are quite a bit of spring DIY home prep steps you can take to prepare for the season. If your hose bibs, downspouts, hot water tank, and sump pump system all check out, you should be in pretty good shape! If you discover any problems you can’t fix on your own, or if you simply don’t have the time, call up your Columbus plumbers. We’re always happy to talk you through a plumbing question or solve it for you. Here’s hoping for lots of warm, working-around-the-house weather this spring. Good luck!