It’s fall once again, which means it’s time to pull on those cozy sweaters, sip hot cider, and prepare your plumbing for winter! That’s right: in between enjoying all that fall has to offer, it’s important to take some precautionary steps with your plumbing before temperatures drop below freezing. The good news is that these tasks are pretty straightforward, so once you get them squared away, you can return to enjoying the autumn skies and pumpkin pies. Here are the seven fall plumbing tips you’ll need to keep your plumbing system flowing well into the winter season.
Remove Your Garden Hose & Turn Off the Hose Bibb
If you’ve spent the summer tending to your flower garden or hedges, you likely left your garden hose connected to the spigot for easy access. Now, it’s time to disconnect the water hose, drain it, and store it in an area that will not drop below freezing. If any water is left in the hose, it will expand as it freezes, putting stress on the rubber material and causing it to crack. It’s important to follow this fall plumbing tip if you wish to use your garden hose another season!
While disconnecting the water hose, take a few minutes to turn off the hose bibb and the inside water supply line. If you skip this step, water will freeze in the supply line, resulting in burst pipes. Once the hose bibb is turned off, make sure you drain the outdoor faucet so no residual water remains.
Clean Your Gutters — Regularly
They don’t say “autumn leaves and pumpkins please” for nothing during the fall season. While autumn leaves are pleasing to the eye, they are not so friendly to your gutters. If dirt and debris are left in your drainage system over the fall and winter months, they can freeze and prevent proper water drainage, leading to extensive damage. For this reason, you’ll want to routinely clean out your gutters during the fall season.
Get Your Sewer Line Inspected
Perhaps one of the most important fall plumbing tips to follow is having your sewage system inspected. The fall and winter seasons do not play nicely with your sewer system, and it ends up having to work harder. If you’ve had problems with your plumbing in the past, it’s best to take preventative measures and schedule drain cleaning services. Professional plumbers like ours will ensure your plumbing is well-prepared to handle the rigors of the coldest seasons.
Insulate Your Pipes
Exposed pipes have a hard time withstanding the freezing temperatures of the winter season. That’s why it’s important to insulate them during the fall. When you insulate them with fiberglass, pipe sleeves, or insulation tape, you stave off plumbing issues and ensure water and sewage can flow freely.
Seal Up Any Cracks or Gaps
When your plumbing was installed, the plumber likely cut holes into your home’s walls, floors, and roof to accommodate the piping. Reputable plumbers will fill any remaining gaps with caulk. However, this caulking can deteriorate over time, allowing drafts to blow throughout your house. When this issue is left unresolved, it can lead to frozen pipes during the winter months. To protect your home and your bank account, follow this one fall plumbing tip: look for gaps around your home’s piping and seal them with caulking, weather strips, or another form of insulation.
Schedule a Hot Water Heater Inspection
No one wants to be without hot water during the chilly fall nights or freezing winter afternoons. That’s why it’s important to have your water heater inspected by a professional during autumn. A qualified plumber will flush out the water heater tank to remove any sediment buildup, which can cause corrosion, heating inefficiencies, and a shorter heater lifespan.
Test Your Sump Pump
Even though winter weather is only a few short months away, we can’t ignore the weather conditions we’re up against this fall. Autumn is a fairly wet season, which is why it’s crucial to check that your sump pump is working properly. This little mechanism will protect your home from water damage and needs to be inspected by a professional from time to time. Experts like those at Northern Services can ensure your sump pump is functioning correctly and replace it if it is not.
For More Fall Plumbing Tips, Turn to Northern Services!
The above fall plumbing tips will ensure your plumbing system is in top working condition and ready for the winter months ahead. If you need help maintaining your home’s plumbing, call on our residential plumbing contractors in Renville County, Kandiyohi County, and Redwood County, MN. We’ve been taking care of plumbing systems for over 40 years and can ensure yours runs smoothly so you can focus on the current Sweater Weather and the upcoming season of merriment. Contact us today to schedule a plumbing inspection, repair, or installation.