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Springtime Plumbing List

Springtime Plumbing List

So, you’re almost past the bitter cold of winter months, and now you can quit thinking about it right? Not necessarily. Cold weather could still rear its ugly head, and even when it’s gone, here are some Spring time tips to help you out.

  1. Keep an eye out for trouble. When it comes to plumbing, little leaks can lead to big problems. Be alert to signs of impending plumbing failures: Leaking faucets, wet cabinets, rocking toilets or slow draining tubs / toilets are all signs of problems that need prompt attention.
  2. Repair plumbing problems quick. A leaking faucet isn’t just annoying; the moisture it releases puts wear on sink fixtures and can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Stay on top of problems to keep the household clean and dry. A leaking faucet can waste 20 gallons a day, that adds up!
  3. Know where to go when trouble happens. Should plumbing problems arise, will you know how to stop the flood? Locate the main shut-off valve for the home water supply. If it’s in a dark, hidden, or hard-to-reach place, gather any tools you’ll need for a quick shut-off, and store them nearby. There’s nothing like the frustration of a missing flashlight or a misplaced shut-off key when water’s pouring down the stairs from a broken pipe. The shut off is generally outside next to the street. In a pinch, call the city if you can’t get it shut off yourself.
  4. Shutting off water to appliances. Similarly, know how to shut off water to sinks, toilets, washing machines and water-using appliances like the refrigerator’s icemaker. Should problems arise, knowing the location of the shut-off valve will save the day and a lot of wet cleanup. Make sure NOW that they actually work. After time, water will wear away at shut offs, and eventually they will not turn off properly. At the time of an emergency, is not when you want to find this out. Be ready to shut off the water to the house, in case the shut offs malfunction when testing.
  5. Find the location of the household’s main sewer cleanouts. It’s there to provide access to correct a clogged sewer line for your plumber. If you do not have one, they generally have to be installed, which you don’t want to have to schedule during a plumbing emergency, like your house drains are stopped up.
  6. Learn how to tackle small problems. With a few tools and a little knowledge, most of us can handle small plumbing emergencies. With a plunger, a pipe wrench and a sewer snake in your tool kit, you’ll be able to take care of small problems like clogged drains, blocked toilets, stuck valves and dripping faucets. How-to books, home improvement stores and adult education classes can pay for themselves when it’s time to call the plumber.

Freeze: Keep plumbing safe in cold weather

In hard-winter climates, freezing pipes can create a sudden household emergency. Frozen water expands, cracking pipes; when the area thaws, the cracks vent a flood. Plumbing help can be hard to find in a weather crisis, so try these tips:

  • Prevent frozen pipes before they start. Best defense: insulation. Insulate exposed pipes in a crawl space or in the garage with easy-to-install plastic insulation. It’s a peel-and-stick solution. It’s important to realize, that most of the insulation you buy at main home owners stores, is not thick enough. YOu should use a minimum of 7/8″ wall, and can find it at a plumbing supply company. Before winter comes, remove exterior hoses, and apply insulating caps to outdoor fixtures, as a frozen exterior spigot can damage interior pipes. Households with automatic sprinkler systems can clear standing water with compressed air.
  • When cold weather strikes, go into action. Open the cabinets beneath sinks and bathroom fixtures; warmer household air will help prevent the pipes inside from freezing. Opening taps to a bare trickle keeps water flowing and avoids a frozen blockage.
  • If pipes do freeze, don’t panic. First, shut off the water supply to the house, then open a faucet near the blocked area to vent vapors from the frozen water. If you suspect that pipes in the hot water system are frozen, turn off the water heater. Use a hair dryer to warm the frozen pipe (never use an open flame to thaw a pipe), starting at the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. (Don’t use a hair dryer in areas of standing water.) You’ll know the pipe has begun to thaw when water begins to trickle from the open faucet. When the flow is restored, check the plumbing carefully for cracks or leaks.

As always, your friendly plumbers at Schrader Plumbing are available to help you along with anything you run into trouble with. Just call 817-262-0989 any time!

Last Updated:

Monday, January 29, 2018

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