Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

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As Spring approaches, so too does spring cleaning. Now, surely, the attic gets taken care of and we might dig through a few closets and finally get rid of that dresser we moved to the basement. But, how often do we include our household plumbing in the mix? Below, you will find simple tips on how to clean up and maintain your household plumbing, which will help avoid problems and save you some money in the process.


  • Be sure your water heater thermostat is correctly set at 120 degrees and that the water at the sink farthest from your heater measures at that temperature.
  • Drain one or two quarts from your water heater by attaching a garden hose to the spigot at the bottom and releasing the pressure-relief valve.
  • Check all water-related appliance hoses – water heater, ice maker, dishwasher, washing machine – for bulges or leaks. Replace damaged hoses and use stainless steel hoses whenever possible.
  • Consider replacing old (15 years or more) hot water heaters.

Pipes and Drains

  • Pour one gallon of water down rarely used drains – including floor drains – to keep out unwanted odors.
  • Check sink and basement pipes for signs of leaks.
  • Check for small leaks by noting your water meter before bed and then checking it the next morning before using any water. If it has changed, you have a leak that needs repair.


Kitchen and Bathroom

  • Check faucets for leaks and make appropriate repairs.
  • Be sure all drains have strainers for debris and loose hair and clean out the ones that do.
  • Be sure toilets flush appropriately. If they require to be jiggled or the handle held down, replace the tank parts. You’ll eventually notice a lower water bill.


  • Check for bird nests that might block water flow or drainage.
  • Clear gutters and drains