Every year the holidays seem to sneak up on everyone, us included! We realize we are just a month away from having guests come to visit and we remember a whole list of things that need to be done at the last minute. In terms of plumbing, pre-planning early on can save you a lot of headaches in the weeks before Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve. The extra number of people in your house utilizing your plumbing can cause worn components to finally bite the bucket. We know the holiday season is still a ways off, and this post was put out early on purpose, so you can find and fix things before the stress of the holiday’s approach.
Your holiday plumbing checklist should address finding existing problems and in addition-preventative maintenance of your home. A few small steps today can save you a lot of frustration in a few months.
Test Flush all Toilets : Many people have guest bathrooms that only get used when there is company. If a bathroom hasn’t been used in months make sure you check and test everything. Listen for leaks or running after you flush the toilet, keep an eye out for leaky faucets, and make sure all the drains empty properly. It is a lot easier to fix a small problem early on than to discover it at the last minute.
Get Your Water Heater Ready For Overtime: You can use a lot more hot water than normal around a holiday event. If you haven’t serviced it since last year, it’s time to get a tuneup or flush(getting rid of sediment build-up) 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. If your water tank is about to fail, you want to detect it far in advance and get it fixed at a convenient time.
Winter-Proof 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. A water pipe that freezes and bursts can cause any gathering to grind to a halt. If you are hoping for a pleasant holiday, you better be sure your pipes are ready to handle the cold so you can enjoy your time with friends and family.
Disconnect Your Hoses and Shut Off Outdoor Water Valves: These might not ruin a family get together, but you can be sure that you will enjoy the holidays more without the headache or the costs of getting these items repaired. 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.
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 embarrassing sticky and smelly situation.
Shut off Unused Outdoor Gas Lines: If you have a gas grill, pool heater, or anything powered by gas that you wot be using over the winter, it is a good idea to shut off the gas to it. The temperature change can cause leaks and its better to be safe than sorry. It sounds crazy, but things like this do happen, and they don’t tend to happen to people who ever thought they were possible.
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. You wouldn’t want a giant icicle to fall onto one of your guests entering your home. Google it – It has happened!!
Flush French Drains: A lot of debris can accumulate over the summer and fall that can cause clogs or hold moister that freezes and cracks pipes. Now is a good time to run high-pressure water through these drains to flush them out and make sure you don’t discover any nasty problems in the spring.
Double-check all integrated appliances. This includes garbage disposals, dishwashers, refrigerators, gas fireplaces, and kitchen ventilation. Some people only use certain appliances when they have company. Before your guests arrive is the time to test those items out and make sure they are in good working order.
Extended Vacation: Are YOU the one traveling on an extended vacation during the holidays? If your holiday plans involve you leaving your house unattended this year, 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.
We hope this holiday plumbing checklist will help you prevent problems and headaches this holiday season. And if you do discover something that is malfunctioning, at least you can have it fixed at a convenient time which saves stress and often money. In the event that you come across something that you have a question on or you’d like our expert plumbers to come out and take a look, we are running a Free Trip Charge for the holidays this year. Just mention our ad when you give us a call. 214-206-6580.