It’s fall in Central IL. As much as we love the crisp fall air and the beauty of the changing leaves, it also means winter weather is around the corner! You can prevent many plumbing problems by performing a few routine maintenance items before the first freeze hits. The Plumbing experts at Covenant Plumbing want to help you avoid any plumbing problems, so we put together this list of fall plumbing tips for you.
Disconnect Water Hoses
Make sure to disconnect all outside water hoses from your faucets. If the hoses are left connected, the water in the hoses can freeze and expand, causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to potentially freeze and break.
Make sure to check that outside faucets are not dripping or leaking. If so, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that 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 unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
Clear Gutter Debris
Clear fall leaves and other debris from exterior gutters and downspouts. As temperatures fall and rise and water freezes and melts, having these pathways clear will help to ensure easy drainage throughout the fall, winter, and spring.
Flush Water Heater
Your water heater works harder during the winter months. Flush it out to remove any sediment buildup, which can cause corrosion, shorten the life span of the water heater and reduce 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. Test your pressure relief valve yearly. If they are dripping have them replaced. Over pressurized tanks can and will cause major damage if not addressed. For information regarding your specific make and model of water heater, visit your manufacturer’s website.
Insulate Pipes and Seal Leaks
Protect exposed pipes! Inspect all of your home’s plumbing pipes to make sure they are properly insulated. Both interior and exterior pipes throughout your house, garage and basement are susceptible to freezing in the winter. Seal leaks around doors and windows to reduce cold air penetration.
Inspect and Clean Sump Pump
Because sump pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze and as a result stop operating. Sump pumps should be checked and cleaned annually. Fall is the perfect time to check your sump pump and make any necessary repairs. Make sure to inspect and clean the sump pump and pit.
Prepare Home for Vacation Mode
If you intend to leave your home for an extended period of time during the fall and winter, additional preparation may be necessary. You may want to turn the main water valve off and drain all faucets. You could also consider shutting off your water heater before you leave for an extended time. Never set your thermostat lower than 55°F to ensure that pipes don’t freeze.
Contact Covenant Plumbing With Any of Your Plumbing Needs.
As your trusted plumbing advisors in Bloomington-Normal and surrounding areas, we want to help you maintain a safe, healthy and dry home. Our plumbing professionals will work to accurately diagnose any plumbing problems and quickly fix any plumbing problem the first time.
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