Seasonal Plumbing Tips from Foleys

01 March 2024

As the weather changes, it’s time to have a look into your property’s plumbing! Time flies, and you may come across some plumbing issues you aren’t even aware of.

That’s why at Foleys, we have put together a handful of our most helpful and easy tips to keep on top of your plumbing maintenance this spring.

Inspect toilet tanks, tubs and bowls 

It’s usually necessary to repair leaks professionally for any high-traffic components – such as sinks, and most notoriously – toilets. Here’s some things you can do to ensure your bathroom is in working order:

  • Check your float valve and system – make sure it’s on a low setting. If it’s too high, water may flow into the toilet bowl instead of out of the bowl.
  • Check sealed areas around any tanks. If the gasket has been worn down, it may allow water to seep in.
  • Flush your toilet regularly.
  • Consider replacing and repairing tapware.

One great hack to spot leaks is adding drops of food colouring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, colourful leaks will drip at the point of the breach - and from there we can help you fix them!

And make sure your toilet is flushing properly! If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water running, you might need to replace some of the worn-out parts. By doing so, you’ll notice a lower water bill. 

Or, if your home uses a sump pump, pour a bucket of water or so into the sump pit to make sure it’s working correctly. The pump should turn on quickly, discharge the water, and shut off without any problems.

Check your hot water cylinders and consider replacing them if they are 15 years or older

To prevent scalding and reduce energy use, ensure the temperature on your hot water cylinder is set to no higher than 50 degrees.

Heating technology and standards advance, and the truth is that newer water heaters/hot water cylinders are much more energy efficient. It’s a good idea to replace your old hot water cylinder if:

  • The heat exchanger is rusty
  • The metal shows signs of corrosion
  • The tank is leaking
  • The tank has low water pressure.

Ensure any outside drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and free of debris

Gutters play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your outdoor plumbing systems. Therefore, it’s essential to add gutter cleaning to your spring plumbing checklist! Cleaning gutters and trains regularly helps prevent debris from accumulating and freezing, which could potentially damage your home!

Gutters aren’t the only part of your gutter system that need regular cleaning. Downspouts manage the flow of water off your roof and away from your home and need to be maintained. 

Downspouts are usually placed along the sides of your home but are also installed at any low points of the gutter system facing a suitable drainage area. Without them, water would collect in your gutters until it overflowed and damaged or eroded your siding, roof, and foundation.

Signs you may have clogged downspouts are:

  • More bird/pest activity on your roof
  • Water overflowing and spilling over the sides of your gutters
  • Signs of water stains on your siding
  • Plants starting to grow on your gutters due to the accumulation of soil.

If you're experiencing some of the above, or just cant remember the last time you cleaned your gutters, it’s time to get to work! Foleys provide spouting, downpipe and gutter maintenance services. So, if you’re a little scared to get up on your ladder - give us a call and we can help.

Check water hoses

Rubber hoses are prone to cracking, may grow brittle, and ultimately burst! Check your hose for any new cracks that may have occurred due to changes in humidity, and seal them before they spread. Ideally, you should replace your hose if you notice any signs of brittleness to prevent them from erupting (you could even consider stainless steel braided hoses).

Keep an eye on your water metre

Before you leave for work in the morning, have a look at your water metre and check it when you come back (make sure no one uses any water in the home whilst you are away). If the number has changed, you may well have a leak! 

Regular maintenance and inspections can save you money in the long run! And if you are experiencing unusually high-water usage, high bills, or a drop in water pressure – using their specialty equipment, our Christchurch team can accurately and efficiently detect your leak.

Consider installing a water filter

Water filtration systems ensure that every drop of water in your home is safe for consumption, and they can reduce potential plumbing issues!

Minerals, heavy metals, and chemicals (like chlorine) in unfiltered water can damage your plumbing system in the long run. Installing a water filtration system in your home will soften your water, and make sure that the water entering your plumbing system is free of sediment and particulate matter. This will prevent contaminants entering and settling in your appliances, which could otherwise cause damage and corrosion.

Know when to call an expert!

If you're concerned about any aspects of your home plumbing or drainage, feel free to give your local Foleys branch a call or reach out for a free quote.