Autumn has arrived and that means it’s time to take stock of your pipes, fixtures, and ducts, to ensure that everything is ready for the change of weather. It is far more convenient and inexpensive to keep up with preventive maintenance on your plumbing system than to fix a more significant issue later. Read through these smart tips to keep your plumbing trouble-free throughout autumn and into the winter months.
1. Clear Out Debris
Autumn means lots of dead leaves, sticks, and grass blowing in the wind and piling up next to your home and in your gutters. While you are leaf blowing and clearing your lawn of autumn debris, be sure to keep your gutters and the exhaust lines from your dryer, natural gas heater, and other appliances and utilities clear. This will ensure that your ventilation and drain systems are running properly and will prevent any potential flooding nightmares.
2. Look for Wear and Tear
Check your fittings and joints to make sure they are in good condition, with no worn areas or rust. Fluctuating temperatures in the fall can cause the pipes to expand and contract. Even if the temperatures have not fallen below freezing, pipes that are already worn or damaged are more likely to break. If you notice any fixtures or pipes with even superficial damage, it’s best to have a professional plumber examine them. Better to have them looked at now than to pay for the damage if a pipe or fixture breaks later.
3. Flush Your Water Heater
During the fall and winter months, your water heater works extra hard to provide you with hot water. Prepare your water heater for the workload by flushing it to remove any sediment buildup. A proper flush and inspection will help to ensure your water heater keeps running efficiently throughout winter and into spring.
4. Insulate Your Pipes
When the colder months roll in, overnight temperatures can drop precipitously, which can mean frozen pipes. In order to keep your pipes from freezing, be sure that any pipes exposed to the elements are adequately insulated. Keep in mind that frozen pipes don’t just keep water from moving through the pipes; water already in the pipes can expand and cause the pipes to burst, flooding your home and causing thousands of dollars in water damage. Save yourself the trouble and keep your pipes properly insulated. If you think your pipes may be frozen, act fast – call your plumber to assist you with unfreezing the pipes and avoid damage to your home.