As the seasons of Minnesota change, so does the condition of your home’s plumbing. Emerging from the wintertime, you certainly want to make sure your pipes, fixtures, faucets and pumps are in good condition. To help avoid plumbing emergencies this spring and summer, add the plumbing system to your spring home maintenance list, and use these tips to help you along.

Check the Pipes

Frigid temperatures can freeze pipes in your home — especially exposed pipes in unconditioned areas. Freezing and thawing of pipes can make them crack, leak and rupture. Take a look around your home to inspect all of the exposed pipes for cracks and leaks. Look for signs of water damage on drywall and flooring, which indicate a hidden pipe leak.

Check Water Fixtures

Check each of the faucets, fixtures, appliances and spigots inside and outside your home for leaks. Turn each water outlet on and off to ensure they work properly and to check water pressure for both cold and hot water supply, where applicable.

Test for Toilet Leaks

A running toilet can be annoying, and it certainly wastes a lot of water. If you have a running toilet, make sure the chain isn’t obstructing the flapper or that the flapper is sitting squarely. To determine if your toilets are leaking, squeeze several drops of food coloring into the water in the toilet tank. If there is a leak, the food coloring will seep into the bowl. If you have a toilet leak, it’s often better to start new and simply replace the flush assembly.

Water Heater Maintenance

Your water heater needs annual professional maintenance and DIY maintenance to maximize its service life and to provide hot water as efficiently as possible. One of the simplest and most necessary maintenance tasks you can do is draining a gallon of water from the drain bib every few months. This helps remove sediment and debris from the bottom of the water heater that reduces heating efficiency and water quality.

Schedule professional maintenance with your plumber once a year. Your plumbing professional will drain the entire water heater, and then clean it and check all parts for proper function.

Test Your Sump System

Your sump pump is an essential piece of equipment to protect your home from flooding. Check the sump pump each fall and spring seasons to ensure it’s working properly. Check the backup power source, too. If you don’t have a backup power supply, seriously consider installing one. Storms that cause flooding typically knock out power.

Check the Septic System

Freezing temperatures can crack septic pipes, too. If you have a septic tank, walk your property looking for soft or wet ground or puddles where the pipe and septic tank are located.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

Your gutters and downspouts protect your home’s foundation and basement from water damage. Downspouts should extend at least five feet from your home’s exterior walls.

Are your gutters in good shape with no leaks, rust, clogs or sagging? Spring is a good time to clean out your gutters and make any overdue repairs.

If you are overdue for a professional plumbing inspection, spring forward already and contact the plumbing experts at MN Plumbing & Home Services today!