Plumbing Spring Cleaning Checklist

The spring cleaning plumbing checklist

As Minnesotans, we know how risky it is to use the ‘Sp’-word… even this late in March. But even if it takes until mid-April, spring has to come eventually, and that means we have to prepare for it. So why wait? Even if it doesn’t feel much like spring now, there’s no better time than to kick off spring cleaning! Maybe our efforts will bring about the season through osmosis (hey, we can dream)!

We’ll grant you: when you think “spring cleaning”, your plumbing probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But it should be! Getting your plumbing ready for spring is a great way to prepare your home and yourself for the season. A little preventative maintenance now could save you a lot of time and money later. Here’s your step-by-step checklist for spring plumbing maintenance. Just check these boxes off one-by-one, and when you’re done your plumbing will be ready for spring. Whenever it comes.


 Clear all the wintery debris out of your outdoor gutters, downspouts, and storm drains.

 Make sure there’s nothing (a bird’s nest, floating garbage, etc.) blocking your ventilation pipes or chimney.

Check outdoor hoses and faucets for dripping or leaking, and make sure they’re working properly.

Move the sump pump’s hose to its appropriate location, so that it expels excess water far enough away from your home’s foundation.

Ensure that water drains away from your home, instead of building up on your roof or near your foundation. Check for sunken or flooded spots in your yard.

Bathrooms (Repeat for each!)

 Run water in the sink and watch the pipes under the sink as the water flows to make sure pipe joints aren’t leaking.

 After turning off the water, watch the faucet for a minute or two to make sure it isn’t dripping. Remember, even a dripping faucet can cost you a lot of water and money.

Fill the sink with water and then open the plug to allow it to drain. Check to make sure it’s draining quickly enough. If you think you have a clog, plunge or snake the drain.

Remove and clean out the p-trap of each sink drain. When replacing the p-trap, make sure it’s re-attached correctly. Run the water for a minute and make sure it isn’t leaking at the joints.

Inspect the tank and bowl of the toilet for cracks or leaks.

Open the tank of the toilet and flush the toilet. Watch the mechanism as the toilet flushes to make sure each part functions correctly. Make sure the refill valve fills the tank and closes properly after the toilet flushes. A Toilet tank should only take about one minute to refill after a flush.

 If you’re worried about toilet leaks, add some food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. Don’t flush the toilet for about 30 minutes. If the food coloring appears in the toilet bowl water after thirty minutes, the tank is leaking into the bowl. Replace the flapper.

 Clean your showerhead by removing it and letting it sit in a vinegar bath for one hour. Consider using an old toothbrush to scrape scale deposits off the nozzles or aerator. When you replace the showerhead, make sure it isn’t leaking.


 Check the pipes under the sink for leaks.

 Run hot water down the kitchen sink’s drain for about fifteen minutes to clean it out.

 Check to make sure the kitchen sink is draining quickly enough by filling the sink with water and letting it drain all at once.

  Throw ice into the disposal and run it with cold water to clean the disposal blades.


Make sure your home’s sump pump is working correctly by pouring a bucket of water (about a gallon) into its pit. The sump pump should activate and expel the excess water out of the pit through the drain pipe. If your sump pump isn’t working, have it professionally serviced immediately.

Drain and flush your water heater to prevent sediment buildup and ensure it continues to function effectively. You should also consider having your water heater professionally serviced from time-to-time.

Check for invisible plumbing leaks by turning off your water and checking your water meter’s leak indicator for water movement.


If you’ve checked every one of these boxes, then congratulations: you and your plumbing are ready for spring! Even if you found out about any problems while you were checking the boxes, however, don’t panic. We’ve got your back!

Ben Franklin Plumbing is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure your plumbing lasts through spring and beyond. Just give us a call and we’ll go to work.

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