I don’t know about you- But Fall is my favorite time of year! I get so excited when the temperatures start to drop and I hear the crunch of leaves under my feet. But dropping fall temperatures also serve as a polite reminder that winter will be soon following, often leaving homeowners unprepared for the troubles associated with extreme cold. Take a gander at our 7 preventative Fall plumbing tips that can help avoid headaches and costly repairs as winter progresses.
SNAKE THE SEWER LINE: Many homeowners don’t realize that taking a proactive approach can save you stress, time, and money. During winter, trees and shrubs lie dormant, making it a perfect time to clear out the roots that have grown in the spring and summer. By snaking the sewer line, you can avoid a potentially sticky and smelly situation.
CHECK FOR LEAKS IN OUTSIDE FAUCETS: Make sure outside faucets aren’t dripping or leaking. Make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that when pipes freeze- pressure can build causing cracks – no matter what material it is made of. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
DISCONNECT OUTSIDE WATER HOSES: If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
INSULATE YOUR PIPES: Cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at most home centers. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
GET YOUR WATER HEATER READY FOR OVERTIME: Winter temperatures often mean that you’re going to use your water heater more than any other time during the year. Because the water heaters’ workload is increased, you want to make sure it’s ready! If you haven’t serviced it since last year, it’s time to get a tuneup or flush to ensure premium performance. You should also set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to get optimal temperatures more quickly. In addition, you may want to evaluate your need for a new water heater, as most only last 7 to 10 years.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS: Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to facilitate easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.
TAKING AN EXTENDED WINTER VACATION? : If you take an annual winter vacation, some planning goes a long way to preserving the condition of your home. Depending on the length of the trip, shut off your water valve, drain all faucets, and set your home thermostat between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Installing a smart thermostat is also beneficial, as you can change the temperature from your smartphone while you are gone.
These plumbing tips are intended for homes that will be inhabited throughout the winter months. Many additional steps should be taken to winterize vacation properties or homes that will be left unattended for months at a time. Seek professional help for winterizing such properties.
Although it seems like a fair amount of work, following these fall plumbing maintenance tips are much easier, cheaper, and less time-consuming than potential catastrophes that can happen by not implementing them. If you need a professional plumber to aid you in your quest for Fall plumbing perfection, call the experts at Auger Pros Plumbing & Drain. Our highly trained technicians will provide advice and fix any problems you might have. Call us today at 214-206-6580!