The months of frozen pipe woes may be far behind us, but as the weather gets warmer, it paves the way for a new set of plumbing problems. Spring rain can wreak havoc on volatile plumbing, so it’s important to identify problems and take care of them before they start. Fortunately, a few easy maintenance tips can prevent leaks, overflows and other problems, saving you from spending thousands in cleanup fees in the long runs.
Here are some tips from our trusted Zurn plumbers to help prevent plumbing problems during this potentially stormy season.
Clear Debris from Gutters and Down Spouts
During the spring, gutters, downspouts, areaway drains and plumbing vents become clogged with leaves and other debris that builds up throughout the season. Prevent leaks in your home by ensuring your gutters and other places where rainwater should flow are clean and free of clogs. If you see any cracks or damage to your gutters, patch up those areas with caulk. And, if you notice a problem that’s too big for a simple caulking job, don’t wait until it’s too late to replace the entire gutter. Otherwise, you may be making your shingles and under eaves prone to leaks that can damage your home.
Downspouts should exit 10 feet away from the house, so as to prevent flooding near the foundation of the home. You can pick up downspout extensions from any home improvement store.
Inspect Your Sump Pump
Your sump pump is vital to ensuring collected water around your basement or the foundation of your home flows to a municipal storm drain or dry well. A sump pump may overflow if it isn’t monitored carefully and pumping on a regular basis, which can cause major flood damage to your home. Heavy rainfall often puts sump pumps into overdrive, so it’s important to ensure they’re working properly before problems arise.
Test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and watching to see if it correctly dispenses the water. If you have a battery backup, ensure it is working properly, as prolonged periods without electricity due to storm-related power outages can cause your sump pump to fail. If you do not have a battery backup, consider investing in one.
Monitor Your Backflow Preventer
A working backflow preventer is an important part of any plumbing system, working to protect water from contamination. There are over 10,000 cases of backflow contamination each year, and nearly all of them are preventable with proper maintenance. These items should be checked annually at a minimum. While it’s possible to check your backflow preventer on your own, Zurn suggests contacting a professional to ensure you test it properly and document any issues that may arise.