I heard the first Mountain Chickadee the other morning sing that familiar summertime song of “Cheeseburger” and I was reminded that spring has most definitely sprung in Northeastern California.   El Nino was particularly strong this winter season in Plumas, Lassen, and Tehama Counties.  Eagle Lake, Lake Almanor, and Bucks Lake water levels continue to rise and there is much anticipation that this year won’t disappoint as the Northern Sierra snowpacks sit at about 96% of normal.   

As the days warm up and we are able to return to our cabins in the Lake Almanor area and poke around the outside of our homes, it becomes time to inventory the toll that Mother Nature has inflicted over the winter.  Whether you are performing regular inspections of your mechanical systems or one of our professionally trained technicians comes to your home, it is important that you have a plan.  I have compiled a handy checklist for homeowners to help them put together a springtime home safety inspection so that they can better identify potential hazards before they become much bigger problems.  Please take the time to study the guide and contact Slusher Plumbing Heating Cooling Electric  if you have any specific questions regarding troubles at your home.  Download and print off a copy of our list to take with your while you perform your inspection.

Happy Spring Cleaning,  

David Jr.  

Water System

  1. Confirm main water shut-off turns freely.  If valve is tight after 2-3 full cycles, replacement should be considered.
  2. Purge air on start-up from both hot and cold water lines at every fixture.
  3. Once water has been turned on to the house, check under all sinks and toilets to ensure shut-off valves, supply lines, and traps are leak free.
  4. Adjust water level at toilet fill valve if needed and listen for a leaky flapper.  Replace if necessary.
  5. Make sure water heater drain, shut-off valve, water supply lines, and temperature and pressure relief are leak free.
  6. Check exterior hose bibs for leaks.
  7. Run dishwasher, washer machine, and ice maker.  Check for leaks behind and under the appliances.
  8. Check and replace cracked or bulging washer machine hoses.  

Electric System

  1. Confirm all air has been purged at water heater on start-up by testing (manually tripping) temperature and pressure relief valve before energizing water heater.  It is safe to energize once a full stream of water has discharged.  
  2. Test all GFCI and AFCI circuits (manually trip).  
  3. Test surge protectors (manually trip).
  4. Test motion and dawn to dusk sensors at exterior lighting.
  5. Replace flickering or burned out light bulbs and ballasts.  
  6. Clean dust from behind, front, underside of refrigerator for increased efficiency.
  7. Clean and dust ceiling fan blades and motor.
  8. Clean and dust electronics.  

Gas System

  1. Confirm LPG tank has sufficient gas to operate appliances, greater than 30%.
  2. Light all standing pilots at gas appliances.
  3. Confirm all air has been purged at water heater on start-up by testing (manually tripping) temperature and pressure relief valve before lighting or energizing water heater.
  4. Inspect all gas appliances for sooting or abnormal ignition (lazy or jumping flame) which may indicate unstable gas pressure.  Contact a professional gas technician to adjust.
  5. Clean and inspect Gas BBQ.  Fill LPG tank, check for cracked hoses and leaking valves.
  6. Inspect flue pipe caps for snow damage (crushing) and critter infestation that may block exhaust flow.  

Irrigation System

  1. Inspect irrigation backflow and control valves for leaks once water has been reestablished.  Replace any valves that are hard to turn or are leaking.  
  2. Reset irrigation timer.  Replace battery backup.  
  3. Uncover and clean weather sensor.    
  4. Manually test each station at the timer to ensure proper control function.  
  5. Inspect all sprinkler heads for breaks, inadequate flow, and erratic spray.

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

  1. Replace batteries at carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.  Test (manually trip).  
  2. Replace HVAC systems filters.
  3. Manually operate heating system for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure heat is produced and safeties are working normally.  
  4. Remove air conditioner cover.  Vacuum and wash pine needles/ leaves, pollens and dust from coils.  
  5. Manually operate air conditioning system for a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure cooling is produced and safeties are working normally.  
  6. Service and test evaporative cooler.  Replace pads, clean sump, lube bearings, inspect and replace worn belts.  

Woodstove/Fireplace

  1. Inspect chimney/flue for cracks and water leaks.
  2. Inspect chimney cap for snow damage (crushing).
  3. Clean firebox and catalytic converter.  
  4. Schedule a chimney cleaning if not done in the fall.  

Septic System

  1. Septic tanks should be pumped every 4-6 years, spring is best.  
  2. Add septic treatment (bottled anaerobic bacteria cultures) to jump start system digestion.  
  3. Test sewer pump alarm (manually trip).