You’ve been taking care of plumbing in your home all winter. Now it’s spring, and time to check up on your outdoor plumbing. So here are some plumbing tips, outdoor maintenance ideas, and conservation tips to keep everything working properly.
Outdoor Maintenance – Faucets and Drains
First and foremost, check all hose bibs and outdoor faucets for leaks. Open and close the valve a few times then make sure it fully shuts off. Even a slow drip can waste as much as 20 gallons per day, and that’s some 7,000 gallons per year! No obvious drips? Is the area under the faucet damp? As a triple-check you can layout some old newspaper or set out a bucket.
You may also want to check that water is flowing freely. Damaged washers, hose bibs, and indoor valves can all interrupt or reduce the flow.
Make sure that patio and other ground-level drains are free of debris and draining properly. Pour in a gallon or so, and it should disappear pretty quickly. The same goes for outdoor kitchen sinks. Their drains have to deal with the usual kitchen hazards plus dirt, pollen, and more.
Many home maintenance experts also suggest that you replace (or at least inspect) the washers on garden hoses each spring.
TIP: Any wet spots on the lawn when it hasn’t been raining and you haven’t been watering suggest a supply water leak or sewer line leak.
TIP: If you own a backyard pool you know that spring is the best time for a system tune-up — before any problems arise and spoil a weekend..
Sprinklers and Irrigation
Make sure your sprinkler system timer is properly adjusted so that it’s not over watering nor under watering. This may take a few iterations of trial and error. Err on the side of less watering, but check frequently so that your landscaping doesn’t dry out. To conserve even more water, consider switching to a drip irrigation system for flowerbeds and shrubbery if you haven’t already.
The start of warm weather can serve as a reminder for those annual and twice-annual maintenance items. Drain and flush your water heater. Make sure that sink drains are flowing freely and that sewer lines are clear of roots and other obstructions. Many businesses do preventive drain and sewer cleaning once a year or more often.
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