The turn of the season is an excellent time to check your plumbing. Throughout the year, our pipes undergo a series of different challenges as the weather changes, while our usage adjusts accordingly. We're far more prone to taking long, hot showers or soaking in steaming baths in the winter than we are in the summer, for example. Spring marks a transitory period that makes it the perfect time for a little home maintenance. You have a break from the cold, demanding winter before you are swept into the unrelenting heat of summer. These spring plumbing tips will allow you to spot any potential risks, prevent damages in the future, and ensure that your home's plumbing is in the best shape.
3 Tips for Getting Your Plumbing Ready for Spring
Say Goodbye to Chemical Drain Cleaners
Harsh, over-the-counter drain cleaners are available by the dozens, but that doesn't mean they're good for your pipes. These cleaners cannot replace the effectiveness of a professional unclogging, and they often inflict harm over repetitive use as they wear down plumbing and cause corrosion. Weaker pipes are more likely to crack and leak. Repeated clogging also indicates a bigger problem, and you should hire a professional plumber to come in and inspect your plumbing. There may be a blockage somewhere deep in the pipes that is causing repeated build-up. Using a snake, a plumber can naturally clear any debris, residue, or blockages and leave you with a smooth, even flow, without damaging your pipes.
Lower Your Water Pressure
Although the pounding of hot water against your back is relaxing in a hot shower, high water pressure increases your risk of leaky pipes. High water pressure makes your plumbing work harder, which reduces their overall lifespan and puts you at a higher risk of paying more to repair or replace them far sooner than necessary.
How to Measure Water Pressure at Home
You can measure your water pressure at home by buying a hose bib gauge from your local hardware store to measure your water pressure.
- Attach the gauge to an outside spigot and open the line. Your water pressure should rest somewhere between 40 and 85 psi.
- If your water pressure exceeds 85 psi, you may want to contact a plumber to install a pressure reducer. Pressure reducers are affordable and effective solutions to high water pressure that preserve your pipes and prevent water damage.
Many people mistakenly switch their faucets out in an attempt to lower their water pressure, but this doesn't work. Any low-flow faucets or showerheads simply lessen the amount of water that comes out of the pipe, not how much water is being forced into it.
Get Your Water Softened
Hard water is common in many parts of the United States. In fact, 85 percent of America has hard water. The seabeds that once covered the majority of the country left behind high concentrations of minerals that still get delivered directly to millions of homes today.
Believe it or not, it’s okay to consume hard water. Water hardness has nothing to do with its toxicity. But hard water can cause damage to your pipes, so it's best to look into water softening and water conditioning systems. When you rid your home's water supply of excessive calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, you protect your plumbing and ensure that it doesn't wear out and break down ahead of its time.