Fall has officially begun, setting the perfect atmosphere for outdoor activities. However, fall also serves as an alarm to start preparing your home for the upcoming winter weather. If your home’s plumbing network is not tuned up for the freezing temperatures, it can leave you with nasty plumbing issues and costly repairs!
So, here are the top 5 plumbing tips to be performed this fall that can save you from potential plumbing problems this coming winter!
Turn Off And Drain Exterior Water Hoses
When the temperature falls to frosty degrees, the unprotected pipes and hose bibs are susceptible to freezing. It is common knowledge that water expands when it freezes. When this happens with the remnant water inside the pipes and hose bibs, it exerts a strong pressure leading to bursts and cracks. Hence, it is best to shut off water to all the exterior hose bibs in the winter. Remember to drain out the leftover water inside the pipes and exterior faucets. Also, it is best to disconnect, drain the water, and store away your garden hoses in a dry, warm place until the next spring season.
Insulate Your Pipes
Water pipes in the unheated areas of the home, such as crawlspaces, external walls, garages, and other outdoor areas, are usually unprotected. Leaving them exposed to extreme winter weather will lead to freezing. The best prevention is to provide them with warmth by using heat tape, insulation, or thermostat-controlled cables. This can save you from expensive plumbing repairs due to water pipe cracks or bursts. Also, in areas where you can’t shut off your faucets, install a frost-free faucet whose surface acts as a barrier between the water and the outside freezing air.
Snake The Sewer Line
Most homeowners think that the main sewer line is the city’s problem to contend with, but that is not always true. Every homeowner must take proactive measures to keep the line leading to their home as clean as possible. This approach will not only save you from the stress of a clogged sewer as well as other annoying and costly plumbing problems such as an overflowing toilet! Snake the sewer lines on your property to clear out foliage and debris build-up as well as plant roots that may have grown over the summer. Doing this chore a few times throughout fall and in the early winter can save you from a potentially unpleasant situation!
Have Your Sump Pump Inspected
Sump pumps in our homes are responsible for pumping the wastewater out into the drains, preventing basement flooding and water damages. As one of the most pivotal plumbing components in your home, it is important to check your sump pump to ensure that that there is no debris build-up and that it is working optimally. To save your sump pump from the winter frost, ensure that it is properly insulated. Also, hire a professional plumber to get your sump pump checked for damages and repairs, and also evaluate if you’ll need a new one in case your existing sump pump is past its ideal lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Check Your Water Heater
Don’t forget to get your water heating systems ready for heavy workload as you’ll be using your water heater a lot more frequently in winter than other seasons! The extra working hours can accelerate wear and tear and can result in a broken system if it has any unidentified problems. If your system hasn’t been inspected for a long time, have it tuned up this fall to ensure optimal performance throughout the winter. Also, it is the ideal time to reconsider your needs for a replacement, as typically, a water heater system has a lifespan of about 8 to 12 years.
Although it looks like a lot of hassle, completing these basic plumbing jobs will prove to be easier, less time consuming, and more cost-efficient than dealing with winter plumbing problems. Schedule your complete plumbing inspection this fall by the professional plumbers at Snell Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning. Give us a call at 301-459-5888 today!