Fall Plumbing Prep Guide: Get Your Plumbing Ready for the Cold

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Fall is upon us, and many of us are busy unpacking warmer clothes, sending the kids off to school, and bracing ourselves for winter heating bills. Are you ready? You may have started raking leaves and doing yard maintenance already, but what about getting your house ready? Preparing your plumbing for the cold months now will help you avoid problems when the winter chill hits. Here’s how to get your plumbing ready for the fall and winter.

Stay Warm
Yes, it’s important that you stay warm all winter, but it’s also important to keep your pipes warm, too! If you’ve ever had to deal with a frozen, or worse, a burst pipe, you know how much of a hassle it can be. Take steps to insulate your pipes now before it gets really cold, and you won’t have to think twice about them freezing. Pipe insulation, made from heating cables or polyurethane pipe wraps will keep your plumbing toasty all winter.

Fix Leaks
A leaky pipe may start out as a minor annoyance, but a deep winter freeze can turn that small leak into a blowout. Examine your plumbing for leaking pipes, and have a professional plumber fix leaks before the cold hits. Check around toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks — this is where leaks commonly occur. Make sure to take a trip down to the basement as well, and look for pooling water in hidden areas.

Flush Your Water Heater
Fall is a great time to do some preventive maintenance on your hot water heater. Hot water heaters tend to build up sediment, especially in areas with hard water. This leads to inefficiency and leaks and will suck the life out of your water heater. Check for rust stains, which may mean it’s time to replace the water heater. Have a professional plumber drain and clean it before winter so you can enjoy hot showers on cold days.

Give Your Sump Pump a Checkup
The sump pump is a device in your basement that gets rid of pooling water. The pump is housed in the sump basin, or pit, where water collects for drainage. Locate the sump pump in your basement and give it a healthy check to make sure it’s working properly. Remove the lid and make sure it’s clean and not clogged. You can also check it by pouring water into the pit and making sure it drains properly.

Shut Off Outdoor Plumbing
It is common for homeowners to forget to shut off outdoor plumbing before winter. After all, fall is a busy time of year, so it’s no wonder that an outdoor spigot isn’t at the top of your to-do list. But it should be. When outdoor faucets and hoses are exposed to the cold, they run the risk of freezing and bursting. If an outdoor pipe connected to your indoor plumbing bursts, your whole house will suffer. Remember to bleed your outdoor plumbing, shut off faucets, and put away hoses for the winter. Many people also have outdoor pipes that can’t be shut off. In that case, be sure to insulate them with heat tape.

If you need help getting your plumbing ready for fall, Contact The Eco Plumbers today.

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