Plumbing Maintenance Tips
With spring just around the corner (hopefully) we have concerns about the condition of our plumbing. Would you please give us a few simple tips that could possibly save us a lot of aggravation.
- Lou and Paul from Prescott
Lou and Paul, first of all, you should not have any concerns that your hose bibs may be frozen due to non use all winter. Frost free hose bibs that are installed correctly will have a large plastic washer between the bib and the wall which ensures the water will drain out of the bib after the water has been turned off and the hose connected. When it comes to your sprinkler system, I am sure that you have turned off the water source to the system for the winter. If this is not the case, it will be necessary to check all of your sprinkler actuator valves and backflow preventers. Most of the time if the water has been left on all winter, the valves will be cracked which will require replacement. If you had to leave the water on to the sprinkler system during the winter, a freeze box or bag should always be used to cover the valves. Now that spring is here, you can remember this simple prevention idea for next winter.
Next, let’s take a look at the hot water heater. Believe it or not, your water heater works harder in the winter than in the summer. The incoming water line to the water heater has to work a lot harder during the winter, due to the colder weather. The lines contract and expand more and due to the heater wanting to re-heat more often and this is causing wear and tear on your equipment. If you have an expansion tank this should also be checked to make sure it is in working order. IF you start to hear your water heater making noises out of the ordinary, popping or cracking, this is a sign that it is time for a replacement water heater. The sound you are hearing is the sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. Sediment capture air and when the water re-heats, it causes volcanic explosions. The rule of thumb in our area for the life expectancy of a water heater is approximately 8-12 years. Another item to check is your water pressure. A water pressure gauge should be part of a tool box. There are articles on the YCCA web site under the Ask The Contractor Section that talk about water pressure and gauges. These are a few items that will save you a stress free spring and summer.