Without proper precautions, cold weather can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your plumbing is prepared for low temperatures before bunkering down and enjoying the cold holiday season. To help you protect your plumbing, here are 5 plumbing maintenance tips for fall:
1. SHUT OFF WATER TO OUTDOOR FAUCETS.
Without proper precautions, your outdoor faucets could cause major plumbing problems during the cold season. Water freezes as it expands, which means that frozen outdoor faucets could cause damage to your water lines and lead to leaking, blockages, and other issues.
To shut off water to your outdoor plumbing, first locate the shut-off valve (which is often located indoors in your basement). Simply turn off the water to the outdoor faucets. Then, be sure to drain the faucets and leave them open so build-up water doesn’t freeze over. If you aren’t sure how to prepare your outdoor faucets for winter, a local plumber can help you with this task.
2. STORE YOUR WATER HOSES INDOORS.
Once summer gardening is over, it’s easy to completely forget about your garden hoses. However, freezing temperatures could cause damage to your hoses over winter. Ice buildup in your water hose could cause splitting or cracking, which means it won’t work properly come spring. To keep your garden hoses safe, it’s recommended to detach them and store them inside of your garage, shed, or home.
3. INSULATE ANY EXPOSED PIPES.
Cold winter weather can wreak havoc on exposed pipes. Since water expands as it freezes, exposed pipes run the risk of bursting when the temperatures drop. That’s why it’s important to protect any exposed pipes with insulation before it gets too cold out.
There is a wide variety of pipe insulation materials to choose from, such as fiberglass, mineral wool, or styrofoam. If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to insulation, a professional plumber could help you pick and install the right products to ensure your pipes are completely protected.
4. EXAMINE OR FLUSH YOUR WATER HEATER.
When it’s cold out, your water heater has to work a lot harder to function properly. The last thing you want is for your water heater to give out in the middle of winter, leaving you with nothing but chilly water. That’s why it’s such a good idea to flush or inspect your water heater in fall, before cold weather fully sets in.
Flushing your water heater can help remove any sediment from the bottom of the tank, which will improve your unit’s efficiency while preventing malfunctions. And, a professional inspection can help identify potential problems before they develop into major issues.
5. INSPECT YOUR SUMP PUMP.
Sump pumps are designed to prevent flooding in your home, especially after heavy rain or storms. In the wet climate of the Pacific Northwest, it’s particularly important to make sure your sump pump is in great working condition. Without proper precautions, you could experience flooding and end up with costly water damage.
When inspecting your sump pump, you’ll want to check for leaks or exposed areas on the discharge line that could become frozen. Now is also a good time to make sure expelled water is flowing away from your home, and that there isn’t excess debris. If you aren’t sure how to make sure your sump pump is in good shape, it may be valuable to call in a professional plumber for help.
READY TO WINTERIZE YOUR PLUMBING?
If you have a complicated plumbing system or simply want to make sure your pipes are perfectly protected for the winter, it may also be a good idea to enlist the help of an experienced plumber. Like those at Pacific Plumbing & Drain. Our experts are prepared to help you winterize your plumbing, so you can have a stress-free holiday season! Call us today to schedule an appointment.