As the weather in Central IL gets cool, now is the time to ensure that you are preparing your home to weather the winter that is approaching. A few simple maintenance tasks now will prevent many headaches and costly repairs in the future. Below are some tips we feel will help you be prepared!
Outside Plumbing Maintenance
- If you have a garden hose, remove it from the outdoor spigot. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
- If you have a lawn irrigation system, be sure it is winterized.
- Check outdoor faucets for leaks. When pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks – no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can allow enough water to leak and cause serious damage or flooding.
Inside Fall Plumbing Maintenance
- Check all water lines and faucets for leaks. Have any problems repaired immediately?
- Do water heater maintenance. Your water heater works harder during the winter months. Flush it out and remove the sediment buildup, which causes corrosion, shortens life span and reduces heating efficiency. Drain several gallons from the faucet near the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the faucet and direct water into a nearby drain. Check your water heater manufacturer ‘s website for specific instructions concerning your make and model.
- Carefully test the water heater’s pressure relief valve (Danger: water is very hot) by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. A plumber should be consulted.
- Insulate hot and cold water lines in cold areas like crawl spaces, basements, and garages.
- Inspect and clean the sump pump and pit. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing the pump from operating.
- When leaving home for extended periods, shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55°F.
Covenant Plumbing is glad to help you with any of your plumbing maintenance needs.
Call us today!