Colder Weather Plumbing Tips
Summer came…and while the expression “time flies” usually does apply to the bright, exciting days of summers, you probably didn’t realize how fast it really goes. It doesn’t seem possible, but it’s almost fall!
- Soon the leaves will change colors, the air will turn brisk, and our thoughts will start turning to the holidays. But before fall gets here, it’s time to think about preparing for the colder weather ahead. Most of the time, putting off fixing that slow drip from the bathroom faucet might not be a big issue, but once fall approaches, there’s no more procrastination. Often people think of winterizing their pipes for winter, but not everyone knows that fall is a better time to start. Here are our top plumbing tips to get your home fall ready!
FIND THE DRIP
Right away, it’s important to check for leaks. Make sure the faucets and the shower heads are secure and drip-free. Check exposed pipes under the cabinet or in the basement to make sure they are all secure. This is the first step in making sure water isn’t building up and creating a situation that might cause you some issues, like freezing or erosion.
WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE
Your water heater should be serviced every year, and this is a great time to do it. It’s recommended that the tank is drained to remove sedimentary particles. It also allows for you to make sure the thermostat is set at the right temperature, and to see what condition it is in so you get to decide if you need to get another one soon instead of finding out in the middle of a shower. No fun.
PAMPER THE PIPES
We don’t want chilly pipes! Insulate them to keep them warm. Sealing out gaps keeps the cold air from circulating around your plumbing, lowering the risk of having water freeze and burst in the pipes. It also helps in keeping warm air from escaping and allows for less stress on the plumbing.
DON’T FORGET THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Plumbing that is located outdoors is the most vulnerable. The ideal situation would allow for you to access the shut-off valve and not allow water to flow to the outdoor spigots, but if that’s something that can’t get done, you can use heat tape to wrap the pipes to better protect them from freezing temperatures.
Remember the hose!! Don’t forget to disconnect and store any water hoses that won’t be in use. Backed up water can cause issues with your plumbing, and your hose won’t survive with fluctuating temperatures.
GET YOUR LEAVES OUT OF THE GUTTER
You want to make sure that your gutters have good drainage. Clear them of any twigs, leaves, or other debris that might make rainwater pool around your foundation and crawl spaces. While you’re at it, clear any trees or shrubs whose roots have grown in too close of proximity to the sewer line.
SPEAKING OF THE SEWER LINE
While it may not be your responsibility (check with the city), snaking the sewer line as a precaution can only make things smoother for you. This step makes sure there are no clogs that could back up your plumbing system. Nobody wants to be caught with a compromised sewer system at any time, much less in cooler weather and with what could be a large number of guests.
PUMPS AND DISPOSALS
If you have a sump pump, it’s critical that it’s in good working order. They pump water away from homes to prevent flooding and water damage, so if something does go wrong, you’ve got another line of defense that could make a very big difference. Another thing that is often overlooked is the garbage disposal. It’s working overtime this time of the year. Make sure it’s well maintained and the pea-trap is cleaned to prevent odors.
Fall brings colder weather, but it also brings a new school year and a lot of company around the holidays, which means a high demand will be placed on your plumbing system. You may want to review the condition of not only your water heater, but other appliances as well – shower heads, faucets, garbage disposals, washers. Make sure they still have life in them, or consider energy efficient replacements to reduce the work load of your plumbing system.
CALL IN A PROFESSIONAL
While having to go through these steps can seem burdensome, it’s really about securing that peace of mind that you have done everything to protect your investment. Don’t spend all weekend trying to get your pipes ready for fall. Leave it to the professionals.
Our team at Mason Plumbing has been providing quality and skilled services for over the past 20 years. We do maintenance, upgrades, and emergency service. We have the experience you need to make sure your checklist is completed before those winter months roll around. You can reach us at 480-422-6760 or request service online.