During the holidays, you spend a lot of time at home with family and friends. With so much on your plate already, it can be easy to neglect something as important as plumbing maintenance. However, checking up on your home’s pipes and fixtures is essential to ensure a stress-free season. To help you stay on top of things, we have gathered five of the most important elements that should be included in every pre-holiday plumbing checklist. From clearing drains to inspecting water heaters and fixing leaks, find out how to ensure your holiday runs smoothly without any unexpected problems.
1. Unclog Drains
Drains can be easily clogged with excess food, hair and other debris. Periodically clearing them out is essential to keeping your plumbing system working smoothly. To prevent blockages, consider using filters in your sinks and tubs to catch larger pieces before they even reach the pipes. You can also invest in a chemical-free drain cleaner that will help dissolve any organic material causing a backup. However, it is not recommended to use DIY methods to try and clear drains as they can damage the pipes. Professional help is always the best route to take.
There are some telltale signs that a drain is blocked. The first is a gurgling sound from drains, indicating that air can’t escape. If you notice water pooling around the sink or tub after use, it could signify a more serious blockage. Another sign is a bad smell from the drain, which could mean food or other organic material has built up in the pipes. Lastly, any water that drains slowly can also be a sign of clogging.
2. Inspect the Water Heater
The holidays often bring colder temperatures and more visitors to your home, so it’s important to ensure your water heater is functioning properly before everyone arrives. Make sure to check the temperature settings on the thermostat as well as if there are any visible leaks or signs of rust. If you detect any issues, it’s best to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible, or else it could result in having no hot water during the holidays.
Some of the most important things you should check are the pressure relief valve and anode rod. The pressure relief valve prevents your water heater from overheating by releasing water if it gets too hot, so you should make sure it’s in good shape. And, the anode rod helps protect against rusting of the tank, which can cause damage to other parts that could lead to costly repairs or replacements.
Another key component to check is the sediment build-up in the tank, as this can reduce efficiency and cost more money in energy bills. Lastly, check the temperature of your water heater, as it should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. With all these maintenance tips, your water heater will be in tip-top shape and ready for the holidays.
3. Check for Leaks
Leaks can occur anywhere in your home, and, if left unchecked, they can be a major source of damage to your plumbing system. Before the holiday season commences, it’s important to inspect all areas of your house for any signs of water damage.
Leaks can be found in the form of water spots on walls or ceilings, standing water near pipes or fixtures, mold growth and higher-than-usual water bills. If you notice any of these signs, it’s wise to call a professional plumber as soon as possible to assess and repair any damage that has been done. Additionally, check all faucets and fixtures for drips and cracks, as these can easily lead to bigger problems.
Additionally, make sure to check appliances, like your washing machine and dishwasher, for any signs of leaks. Washing machines often have hoses that become worn or cracked over time, so it’s important to inspect them regularly. If you find a leak, replace the hose immediately, as waiting could cause further damage.
4. Inspect the Sump Pump
If your home has a sump pump, it is important to ensure it works properly before the holidays. The sump pump helps prevent flooding by pumping away excess water that accumulates in a pit beneath your basement floor or other areas of the house. If it fails to work, you could be left with a flooded basement, which can put a damper on holiday celebrations.
Check for any signs of wear and tear on the sump pump, such as cracks or breaks in the pipe. Additionally, make sure to check that it is plugged into a GFCI outlet to help prevent any electrocution hazards. You should also check to see if you’re using the right size pump for your home by checking the voltage of your current pump. Lastly, test the sump periodically to ensure it works as expected.
When checking out your sump pump, it is also important to inspect any backup systems you have in place. These can include battery backups, water-powered pumps or emergency generators. For extra assurance of protection during the holidays, consider investing in one of these systems to act as a fail-safe if anything were to happen with your primary sump pump. For residents of Indianapolis and the surrounding areas, Hope Plumbing provides reliable sump pump services to ensure your home is safe from any flooding.
5. Test Your Water Pressure
Low water pressure can be a common issue during the holidays due to the extra visitors and activities in your home. This is why it’s important to check the pressure before the rush of guests arrives. You can test the pressure by turning on all fixtures and running faucets at once to see if they are functioning correctly.
If your pressure is too low, there could be a few issues. First, check the valves beneath your sink and tub to ensure they are open. If that doesn’t help, it could indicate a water pressure regulator issue, usually caused by excessive calcium or magnesium build-up in the pipes.
Second, check the water pressure of your outside hose. If it is lower than the water pressure inside your home, it may indicate a problem with your main supply line, which would need to be addressed by a professional plumber. Lastly, if you have an older home, there could be issues with the plumbing pipes themselves, leading to low water pressure. A plumber can help diagnose the issue and make repairs accordingly.
Before the holiday season is in full swing, it’s important to take some time to make sure your plumbing is running smoothly. This checklist of five tips will help you identify any potential problems that could leave you and your guests without proper plumbing during the holidays. From inspecting your water heater and checking for leaks to testing the water pressure and ensuring your sump pump is running smoothly, these five tips will help ensure your plumbing is in tip-top shape for the holidays. If you find any issues while doing a check of your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to help with any repairs or replacements that may be necessary. With the right preparation and maintenance, you can enjoy a worry-free holiday season with all of your plumbing needs taken care of.
At Hope Plumbing, we provide drain cleaning services, plumbing repairs, water heater services, plumbing inspections and gas lines, among other services. Call us today to help you get your plumbing in shape for the holidays.