Spring Plumbing Tips for Milwaukee

When the snow has melted and the temperatures are rising in Milwaukee, it’s time for spring cleaning! Follow these spring cleaning and maintenance tips to prevent problems.

On the inside of your home:

  1. Check all faucets for drips or leaks and make repairs if necessary.
  2. Make sure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair and other debris from clogging the drain lines.
  3. Make sure your toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a complete flush or has to be jiggled to stop the water from running, you should replace any worn tank parts.
  4. Clean mineral deposits from showerheads. One method is to unscrew the showerhead and soak it vinegar overnight. Scrub in the morning with a toothbrush to remove debris. Your water pressure will improve and you’ll save money on your water bill.

Water heater maintenance:

  1. Make sure the water temperature on your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding.
  2. Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
  3. If your water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. Newer water heaters are more energy efficient. To check the age of your water heater, look at the first four numbers of the serial numbers. They indicate the month and year it was made.
  4. Make sure nothing flammable is stored near your water heater.

On the outside of your home:

  1. Check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure there are no leaves or other debris in them.
  2. Turn on the shut-off valve leading to your outside faucets and check to make sure the water is flowing freely. If outdoor faucets drip or if there is leakage inside your home, a frozen pipe may have cracked and will need to be replaced.

General spring cleaning tips for your home’s plumbing:

  1. Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for leaks.
  2. If you have a sump pump, pour a few buckets of water into the pit. The pump should turn on, drain the water and then turn off again.
  3. Consider installing a flood alarm that sounds an alarm when it comes into contact with water.
  4. Check dishwasher, icemaker and washing machine supply hoses for bulges or cracks and replace them if they look worn or are over 10 years old.