With Spring just around the corner now is a great time to give your house a look over. With Spring comes rain (and usually the snow melt) and possible pipe leaks. Think of this as an extension of your spring cleaning project (from a plumbers viewpoint). Some areas to check include bathrooms,kitchen, appliances, and other general locations as outlined below.
For the kitchen and bathrooms check all faucets for any leaks. Repairing these will help save water and money. Make sure you have strainers on each of your drains. Strainers prevent the buildup of hair and soap which can clog your drains. Check your toilets for leaks. A fast, inexpensive way to do this is to put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. If there are leaks the food coloring will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Turn your water supply valves off and on periodically. This will prevent them from getting stuck. Check your toilets to make sure they flush properly. If you have to hold down or jiggle the knob you should replace the parts of the toilet which are responsible for flushing. they don't cost much and you will save water and money. Clean your shower head using vinegar. this will remove mineral deposits and improve the flow of water.
Check the temperature of your water heater. Keep it at no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit in order to prevent burning. This will also help control your gas or electric bill. drain a few gallons of water from your water heater. This will remove any sediment buildup. If your water heater is greater than 15 years old you may want to replace it. New water heaters are very energy efficient. Check the water supply hoses on your dishwasher, ice maker and washing machine for any leaks or signs of wear or failure. As a precaution, replace them if they are older than 10 years. Check pipes under your sink for leaks. Make sure your sump pump is working properly if you have one. Install a back flow valve under your floor drain in order to prevent backups if you have a sewer where you live.