Spring Cleaning: Outside Plumbing Tips

spring plumbing tips, charlotte nc plumnbing tips

We’re getting there! Inching along to the vernal equinox, also known as SPRING. Time to throw open the windows, let the outside in (and vice versa), and wake your home up from its winter slumber. Read on for our tips on how to welcome the outside of your house to spring, with a focus on three areas: backflow testing, gutters, and gas grills.

Backflow Testing

Backflow testing is required every year for Charlotte residents, so consider doing it in the spring before outdoor water usage is in full swing. Testing helps protect your domestic water supply system as well as the public water supply. As spring unfolds, people will start tending to their lawns, using fertilizer, weed control, ant control, and other chemicals. The sprinkler heads are at ground level, though, so the risk of water supply contamination is high.


The itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout…but what if what he saw there was such a mess that he turned around and walked right back down? (Probably just as well, given that the rain would get him anyway.)  Gutters, downspouts, and drains can clog over the winter. Try flushing them out or pushing a plumber’s snake through them to clear the debris out of them.

This is also a good time to inspect gutter joints for leaks. If you do find a leak, use gutter sealant to repair it.

Birds are a wonderful sign of spring, but bird nests in your vent pipes…not such a wonderful sign. If you see a nest in your vent, gutter, or downspout, check to see if there are birds or eggs in it. If it’s empty, put on googles and a set of disposable gloves to remove it. If there are birds or eggs in it, contact your local fish and wildlife agency (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 affects what homeowners should/shouldn’t do).

Gas Grills

If you’re in the market for a grill, whether as a new homeowner or a homeowner ready for a change, spring is a good time to explore your options: natural gas (fed by a direct line) versus propane (fed by a tank). Think of it as the grill version of the tank versus tankless water heater decision. Natural gas never runs out, burns cleaner, and is more economical than a propane tank. Using natural gas for grills can leave a taste (because of the odorant put in the gas), requires fixed placement, doesn’t burn as hot, and has high upfront costs. Propane gas tanks have low upfront costs (but are more costly in the long run, because you have to fill the tank again and again), allow for grill portability, have less of an effect on taste (no odorant), and burn twice as hot as natural gas. Propane tanks run out—and don’t care if you’re in the middle of making a meal or not.

Need a Charlotte Plumber?

Do you need assistance with backflow testing (we’re certified!), drain cleaning, or gas line installation—or simply have questions about any of the above? We are happy to assist. Give us a call at (704) 846-5371 or fill out our online form.

spring plumbing tips, charlotte nc plumnbing tips

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: What are the best outside plumbing tips for spring cleaning?

The best outside plumbing tips for spring cleaning involve backflow testing each spring before water usage is in full swing. Flush out gutters or clear debris by using a plumber’s snake. Make sure to inspect gutter joints for leaks and use sealant to repair any you find. Lastly, when it comes to grills, consider making the switch to natural gas.

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