For many people, the fall season means raking the leaves, carving pumpkins and sipping warm cocoa in front of a bonfire. Although these things are a great way to enjoy the fall season, the beginning of fall is also the best time to prepare your home’s plumbing system for the winter. Here are some plumbing tips that will help you do just that.
Plumbing Tips for Pipe Protection
Both interior and exterior pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting without the proper insulation. One of the most important plumbing tips regarding the pipes is to thoroughly inspect all of the pipes, including those in the garage. The best way to ensure the pipes have sufficient insulation is by having a licensed plumber do the inspection, as well as insulation.
Water Heater Plumbing Tips
At the beginning of each fall season you should drain the water heater, especially if you have hard water. If the water heater isn’t drained, sediment will build up in the tank which can cause rust to form. If you already notice rust on the water heater or if it seems like it takes longer for the water to heat up, it is recommended that you have a new one installed to prevent the water heater from going out in the middle of the winter.
Plumbing Tips for the Outside Water Hose
One of the most important plumbing tips to know when preparing your pipes for the winter weather is disconnect the outside water hose. If the water hose is connected to the water faucet during the winter the water will freeze inside the hose, causing it to expand and contract forcing water back into the pipes. This may cause the pipes connecting to the interior of your home to freeze and possibly burst.
Outdoor Faucet Plumbing Tips
Check the faucets outdoors to make sure they are not leaking or dripping. When water remains in the line, it can cause the plumbing lines to freeze, which can cause a significant amount of damage to the plumbing system. Make sure you turn the faucet completely off and shut off the interior valve for outdoor faucets.
Plumbing Tips for Leaky Faucets
Fall is the perfect opportunity to inspect all of the faucets in your home. Check for any drips or leaks and have them repaired before winter sets in. When inspecting the faucets, remember to check the shower head for leaks or damaged parts as well as the plumbing fixtures for the toilet. Leaky fixtures can waste tens or hundreds of gallons of water, causing your utility bill to skyrocket.
Sump Pump Plumbing Tips
In order to keep the sump pump in good working order, it should be cleaned at least two times each year, making fall the perfect time to do it. If you have a basement, cleaning the sump pump and surrounding pit will prevent the risk of melting snow or heavy rains flooding it this winter. It is also important to make sure the sump pump is in good working condition in order to prevent freezing, which will cause improper functioning of the pump and ultimately lead to flooding.