Test Your Plumbing with a Peppermint Test

Time: 2-3 hours

During your busy spring cleaning schedule, you need to gauge the health of your pipes to ensure they aren’t breaking down. Our peppermint test can gauge your pipes’ quality and diagnose any problems that may be plaguing them.

What's in it for you?

  • Add years to the life of your plumbing system
  • Avoid nasty gas buildup that can make your house smell like a dump
  • Keep your house safe from any surprise explosions

Test Your Plumbing with a Peppermint Test

  1. Set up indoors: Walk through your home, connecting any disconnected plumbing fixtures and closing open windows and doors (you don’t want a stray breeze blowing in any peppermint aroma). You’ll also need to keep the smell from entering through your sink so fill your sink traps with water.

  2. Gather the ingredients: Grab a friend (let’s call him Bob), 10 quarts of boiled water, and a ladder. Don’t forget the peppermint oil — you’ll need about two ounces.

  3. Find your waste pipe: It’s time to put all those workouts to good use as you climb up on the roof. Stay safe by asking Bob to spot you and having him help pass you materials as you need them. Before you get to that, take a moment to find your waste pipe: it’ll be a small pipe jutting out of the roof.

  4. Pour the peppermint oil: Remove the cap covering the waste pipe and pour two ounces of peppermint oil down it. Wait, maybe see how Bob is doing. Pour the 10 quarts of boiled water slowly down the pipe and put the cap back on. Carefully climb down the ladder and wait while Bob checks for leaks.

  5. Locate leaks: Since you’re now covered in peppermint, you’ll need to wait outside while Bob walks through the house sniffing for that pungent aroma. Tell him he needs to focus on potentially damaged areas, such as pipe joints, traps, and plumbing fixtures and take note of where he smells anything minty — that’s where the leaks are. No minty smell means no leaks.

  6. Fix the leaks: If Bob smelled anything, you can use a pipe repair kit to fix your pipes. Seal leaks with plumbing putty, making sure to pay special attention to hard-to-reach areas. If you need to run water for any reason, you’ll have to wait at least 30 minutes for the putty to dry.

Pro Tip: Use extra-strength peppermint oil for an extra-strength smell.

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