Maintenance Tips for Water Heaters, Sump Pumps, and Washing Machines

Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, partially above ground or underground, it is important to understand and maintain its plumbing to avoid flooding and other issues that can cause serious damage to your Plymouth home. You might not be as familiar with your basement plumbing as you are with your kitchen and bathroom plumbing—that’s why the licensed plumbers at Sabre Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning have been sharing tips and tricks with our Twin Cities customers for years. We can help you better understand your plumbing and possibly even save you money with these tips that can prevent backups and other plumbing issues.

Maintaining Your Water Heater to Avoid Breakdowns

Without hot water, things in your home wouldn’t be nearly as clean—dishwashers and washing machines couldn’t sanitize dishes and clothing properly, not to mention your showers would be ice cold. We encourage our customers to maintain their water heaters to avoid the dreaded fail and flood when a water heater breaks down. Give us a call to discuss your options and to select a replacement before your water heater fails. In the meantime, consider these tips:
  • Adjust the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to save money on utility bills and to maintain a safe, comfortable temperature. Typically there is a dial on the outside of your system that can be easily adjusted.
  • Insulate the pipes to your water heater—it’s easy to do and only needs to be done once. Simply apply self-sticking foam pipe insulation found at any hardware store and wrap it around the hot and cold pipes leading to your water heater. This prevents condensation, reduces heat loss, and saves you money on energy costs.
  • Keep an eye out for leaks around your water heater which can be an indication of a malfunction. Call our team at 763-473-2267—emergency repairs can save your unit from a shortened life cycle and a major flood.

Maintaining a Reliable Sump Pump

Sump pumps work hard to remove excess water from your house by pumping it into nearby storm drains. Make sure your sump pump continues to perform reliably with these tips:
  • Test your sump pump frequently, especially before the rainy season. Simply pour a bucket of water into the pit and watch to make sure the sump pump pumps the water away automatically and then turns off. If it reacts slowly or doesn’t work at all, give us a call.
  • Check to see if your sump pump is standing. Sometimes vibrations during operation can cause the sump pump to fall over which would block the float arm and not allow the sump pump to function when it’s needed.
  • Clean the sump pump grate located on the bottom of the pump. The suction can collect stones and other particles that will cause a blockage and deem your sump pump ineffective. Check this regularly so your sump pump continues to function efficiently and reliably.

Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

Although your washing machine may not be located in the basement, here are some helpful tips for the much-used machine:
  • Check hoses often for wear and tear like leaks or clogs. Regular inspection gives you time to call Sabre for assistance before a hose breaks and causes water damage.
  • Add a strainer to your washing machine hose. This will collect hair, lint, and other dander from the clothing so that it cannot clog the hose or pipes.
  • Use the appropriate amount of detergent when doing laundry and be sure to clean the inside of the washer with vinegar at least once a month to remove detergent residue that builds up. This buildup can cause odors and leave your laundry smelling musty.