When the seasons change and we can finally say goodbye to the cold, harsh winters that means it is time for plumbing maintenance!
Sure, it might not be the first thing you think of but it should be included in all spring cleaning. Your plumbing keeps the home running smoothly. Any issues and your routine will be blocked up like the toilet.
The end of winter is the perfect time to get on board with some extra plumbing maintenance.
What is Plumbing Maintenance?
First things first, what is plumbing maintenance? Well, it is the regular routine care given to your home’s plumbing. That include fixing leaking taps, a hot water service, toilet repairs, drain cleaning and more.
You can also include work on gas appliances or carbon monoxide tests, although you will need a licensed gas fitter.
Now, with plenty of potential jobs on the horizon, it is hard to know where to start. Forget the uncertainty and follow our 6 quick plumbing maintenance tips for spring cleaning.
6 Quick Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Spring Cleaning
1. Clean Your Drains and Tapware
Over time drains fill with soap, hair, grease and who knows what else. This is where you may have heard the term FOG – fats, oil and grease.
With all the hidden mess it makes your drains a great place to start spring cleaning.
Research shows there are plenty of tips and tricks out there, but in reality there is just one long term solution if you do face repeated blocked drains.
Professional help. If your drains have a habit of blocking, calling in a local plumber will give you access to some handy technology – and someone who does the dirty work for you!
For example, Jim’s Plumbing can provide CCTV drain inspection before using a hydro jet or electric eel to clear any blocked drains. It will be a long term solution that is far more effective than using a plunger or wire hook.
However, if your drains have been in good nick, you can try a few home remedies. Mix detergent and two litres of boiling water, before gradually pouring it down drains to break down FOG. Avoid vinegar and baking soda as it has been proven to be inefficient at unblocking drains.
Vinegar will help your shower, though. If you can remove your showerhead just leave it in a bowl of vinegar overnight, or otherwise fill a bag and just tie it to the shower overnight. When you take it off you’ll have a sparkling fixture!
2. Check for Signs of Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes can be a hidden danger. The initial warning signs could be subtle enough you miss them during plumbing maintenance inspections. The following list could be pretty useful so you do not miss a thing.
As you spring clean the bathroom or kitchen, keep an eye out on:
- Lower than normal water pressure
- Damp spots on the wall or ceiling
- Mould or mildew
- Higher than usual water bills
- Musty or damp smelling rooms
- Unusual sounds such as whistling, banging or dripping from the pipes
It is completely normal for some mould to develop in the bathroom, especially in the corners of your shower. But it should never appear on the walls or in what should be a dry corner.
Take a look under the cabinets as you clean, too. Make sure the pipes are not dripping and there’s no water where it should not be.
You can even take a measure on your water meter. Before going to bed take note of the reading, and then check again in the morning when you wake up to see if any water is being used. That will give a clear indication of any unknown problems which likely need the help of a professional plumber.
3. Toilet and Cistern TLC
After cleaning the drains and checking your pipes, it is time for some toilet tender loving care. You heard us, even your toilet suite deserves some love and plumbing maintenance!
Dust off the cistern, clean those nooks and crannies, scrub that bowl!
While you get everything spick and span, how are the rubber seals looking? Or the flush valve? Take a look at all the parts for any signs of wear and tear.
Also, a simple way to check for any leaks is by placing a couple of drops of food colouring into the cistern. You will be able to track any leaks, from a dripping pipe to a gradual leak into the toilet bowl.
4. Service the Hot Water System
A professional plumber may be the best choice when it comes to servicing a hot water system. Especially for a storage tank unit.
Legionella pneumophilia can grow in storage tanks as they love warm water. Thankfully, hot water at 60°C will kill off 90 per cent of Legionella bacteria, and at 70°C nearly 100 per cent will die instantly.
However, it is best to regularly flush your hot water system due to the fact mineral deposits and sediment can build up inside the tank. This impacts the quality of water and could lead to blocked pipes.
Your local Jim’s plumber will be able to safely flush any hot water system, and provide a thorough service on all makes and models.
They can test the pressure release valve, the heating element, thermostat, pipework, insulation and more! Your gas instantaneous hot water system or electric storage tank will be healthy in no time.
5. Don’t Forget Your Appliances
When did you last think about the efficiency of your fridge, washing machine or dishwasher? Our appliances are used daily and should not be forgotten when it comes to plumbing maintenance.
Remember to clean out your washing machine’s lint filter and take a look at the supply hoses, or the taps. All the various parts will wear over time and at some point will need to be replaced.
For gas appliances, call in a fully licensed gas fitter from Jim’s Plumbing to run any gas leak detection tests, or check for potential carbon monoxide leaks.
6. Inspect Outdoor Plumbing and Clean the Gutters
For the last part of your spring cleaning – or maybe the first if you love gardening – inspect your gutters and outdoor plumbing.
The gutters are actually one of the most important elements of your home. Typically you will clean them in autumn after trees lose their leaves, but a post winter clean is also useful. Storms can knock off tree branches and all sorts of debris may end up in the gutters.
As a worst case scenario, blocked gutters can lead to a leaking roof. Water that cannot reach your downpipes will be forced to find a new escape route. That is often the ceiling.
To avoid an internal downpour, keep your gutters clean! And while you are outside, check the outdoor taps for any drips, see if your irrigation is leaking, etc. Springtime is the best time to find any little niggling issues to fix.
Jim’s Plumbing for all Plumbing Maintenance
No matter the size of the job, Jim’s Plumbing is ready to go this spring. Our local plumbers will be able to provide a thorough all-round inspection if you choose, or a specific service.
If you have any doubts about a plumbing or gas fitting problem and just want to play it safe, we can help. With plumbers on call 24/7, you will always have someone to call on.
There is no need to wait for the spring rush. Beat the neighbours and book in your spring cleaning plumbing maintenance with Jim’s Plumbing today!