As the temperatures begin to cool and pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere, thoughts turn towards Fall activities. One that might not make the top of your list, but definitely should, is plumbing preparations. The Fall is a great time to complete some annual maintenance and ensure your plumbing system is ready for the upcoming winter. Here’s a basic checklist to help you get started:
- Disconnect outside hoses to avoid pipes breaking when water remaining inside the line freezes and expands. This should be completed well before the potential for the first round of freezing temperatures.
- Check outside faucets for leaks. Leaky faucets will only get worse over the winter, and will end up costing you more time and money to fix in the spring. If you have any faucets that are leaking contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration to get it taken care of.
- Clean your gutters. Debris stuck in the gutters can lead to blockages that prevent water from draining properly. Water that melts off throughout the winter will need a clear path away from your home.
- Protect outside faucets with hose bibs or Styrofoam which will insulate them and again prevent freezing.
- Shut off the main water valve if you’re a snow bird who will be heading south for the winter. The heat in your home should remain above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from freezing, but it’s always a good idea to go ahead and shut off the main water supply if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time.
- Winterize your irrigation system to prevent water remaining in the lines from freezing or expanding and ruining sprinkler heads.
- Clean out the sump pump and test it to confirm proper operation.
- Flush out your water heater by draining the water and removing sediment. It’s recommended that your water heater be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also a good time to check the pressure relief valve. To do this lift the lever and allow it to snap back into place You should see a burst of hot water enter the drain pipe if everything is working properly.
- Insulate both hot and cold water lines in areas that are exposed to the outdoors such as basements, garages and crawl spaces.
- Check your septic tank for any signs of a backup and if needed get the septic tank cleaned out. This is certainly easier to get taken care of before freezing temperatures set in.
Completing this checklist will have you and your family fully prepared to face the upcoming winter temperatures, no matter how cold they might get. For additional help with this list call the plumbing experts at All Star Plumbing and Restoration.