Tankless Tips: How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Spring

Inspecting and maintaining your plumbing components (exposed pipes, toilets, sump pumps, and even tankless water heaters) is crucial to your peace of mind after the long winter.
Step outside and enjoy: The weather is warmer, the sunlight is brighter, and the sounds of birds and insects begin to fill the air. Spring is here and with it the promise of outdoor strolls, family picnics and late-night talks on the porch with friends.
With the snows a distant memory, revealing the grass and sprouting plants, it’s also a critical time to check your indoor and outdoor plumbing for winter damage. This is especially true after the long, frigid and snowy season much of the country experienced.
Here’s a short checklist:
Check outdoor pipes: Start outside and work your way back inside. Debris can collect over the autumn and winter and clog outdoor drain pipes. Make sure to clean them out completely. Also be sure to clear your roof and gutters of debris so those spring rains can easily drain.
Check for pipe cracks: This goes for both outdoor and indoor piping. The winter cold can cause water to freeze and expand inside your pipes, in turn causing them to crack and leak. Identify and fix these cracks as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Another way to check for cracks indirectly is by turning on your faucets and making sure the water flow seems normal. If the pressure seems low, there might be a leak somewhere in the system, in which case it’s time to call a plumber.
Check your water heater: Whether you have a tank or tankless unit, spring is a good time to perform an annual inspection and flush out your water heater. Certain units, such as Noritz condensing tankless water heaters, have built-in freeze protection technology, but it’s still advised to open the cover and check for any cracks or leaks.
It’s also important to descale your water heater — especially if you live in a hard water area — to eliminate scale buildup that can decrease operating efficiency. Although it’s possible for savvy homeowners to descale a water heater themselves, a plumbing contractor should be brought in if you have any hesitation.
Check your sump pump: This is one of the most important parts of your plumbing system to check during the spring season, especially once those April showers roll in. Check the drain that runs outside for any debris. Then make certain that the pump hasn’t tilted or the float valve moved out of place. Finally, be sure to inspect the electrical components for damage.
Check your toilet for leaks: There’s an age-old test to see if your toilet has a leak. Drop a food dye tablet into your toilet tank. After 15 minutes, check the toilet bowl for any colored water. If you see the dyed water creeping in, you have a leak and need to call a plumber.
Completing this five-point checklist will let you enjoy the upcoming warm season without having plumbing problems on your mind.