cleaning gutters

Fall Plumbing Tips

With summer temperatures still lingering as we transition into fall, it sounds hard to believe, but it’s going to be cold before we know it. Now is a great time to get started on some of your fall plumbing maintenance before it gets too cold, or worse, too late.

Home Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Fall:

Clean out those gutters!
While you should always be sure to keep your gutters clear of debris, it becomes increasingly important as the temperatures start to drop. Gutter blockage can lead to all kinds of problems, including roof damage, gutter damage, and foundation problems, among others.

Gutters that retain debris and water will freeze as the temperature drops, adding weight that cannot be sustained. Even if your gutters hold up, ice dams can be even more damaging to your roof and siding. A best practice would be to clean out those gutters twice a year.

Detach exterior hoses!
One of the most common problems a home plumbing system can face in the colder months is a busted faucet. When you leave your hose attached to an exterior faucet, the expansion caused from freezing can cause it to crack, forcing you to replace it (and risk a harmful leak or even flood).

If you do not have a frost-proof hydrant, cover your fixtures with an insulation kit. They are fairly inexpensive, and easy to install. If the plumbing to your exterior faucets exists under a porch or an area even partially exposed to the elements, it would be wise to insulate the pipes, as well.  Be sure that any crawl spaces are sealed off to ensure wind isn’t blowing under your house.

Lastly, don’t forget to close any shut-off valves you have available to exterior faucets.

Don’t forget about your water heater!
As you would probably assume, you really put your water heater to the test as the days get colder going into winter. Routine maintenance is heavily recommended, and often overlooked.

It is recommended to check the temperature-pressure release valve at least once a year to make sure a leak hasn’t developed.

You also want to drain at least a portion of the tank a couple of times a year to help remove sediment and debris.

Drain all of the water and let the cold line flush the sediment out. Make sure you turn your power/gas off before draining, and be sure to purge air out of water lines before turning back on. Check that your tank is full before turning power/gas back on.

Your hot water heater’s manual should have complete instructions for draining and cleaning your tank safely and effectively.

Now you’re set!
If you have additional questions about preventative maintenance for your home’s plumbing system, we are always available to take your call! 270-443-1067