No one wants to be stuck with a plumbing crisis when winter hits. That’s why we’ve created this fall plumbing maintenance checklist to keep your home’s plumbing in top-notch condition. Follow this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a plumbing-free winter.
1. Begin with the Basics: Faucet Inspection
Let’s get the ball rolling with faucet checkups. Inspect all indoor and outdoor faucets for signs of leaks, cracks, or wear and tear. Trust us; a leaky faucet can waste more water than you think. While you’re at it, closely examine the pipes under your sinks. Mineral buildup around pipe fittings is a red flag. It’s usually a telltale sign that a leak has sprung.
2. Safety First: Disconnect and Insulate Outdoor Connections
In autumn, your lawn shouldn’t be the only thing going dormant. Disconnect all hose bibs and spigots that connect to your outdoor watering systems. Allow these connections to empty as much water as possible. Stagnant water in outdoor connections can freeze and lead to cracked or burst pipes. Get the jump on them now!
3. Under-the-Sink Detective: Check for Leaks
Open the cabinet doors under your sinks. Run your hands along the pipes to check for moisture. If you find any, tighten those loose fittings posthaste. A small leak might not seem like a big deal, but the slow drips often cause the most water damage.
4. Fortify Your Fortress: Insulate Indoor Pipes
While your pipes aren’t subject to freezing like Jon Snow at The Wall, they do face threats from colder weather. Ensure that pipes, especially in poorly insulated areas like basements, are wrapped with insulating tape or covers. This precautionary measure will preserve your pipes and your peace of mind.
5. Keep It Clean: Address Drains and Gutters
Don’t let the beauty of falling autumn leaves fool you. Those picturesque leaves can clog your drains and gutters faster than you can say “plumbing maintenance checklist.” Clean out the gutters regularly and ensure that drainage systems are devoid of obstructions. Otherwise, you risk having a boggy mess around your property.
6. Gear Up: Inspect Water Heaters and Sump Pumps
Let’s get into the more technical aspects of plumbing maintenance. Check your water heater and sump pump for any signs of wear, tear, or sediment buildup. Make this a habit every year before the cold hits.
Flushing the water heater system and ensuring that the sump pump works as it should are crucial steps. Both are fundamental components that provide a warm and dry home, essentials as you move closer to winter.
7. Vacation Preparations: Don’t Forget the Plumbing
Are you planning to hibernate elsewhere this winter? Take the time to prepare your plumbing for your absence. Shut off the main water valve and drain all faucets. Also, make sure your thermostat is set no lower than 55°F because coming home to frozen pipes would not be a warm welcome.
8. Be Proactive: Schedule a Professional Plumbing Inspection
Even the keenest DIYers can miss a thing or two. Scheduling a professional plumbing inspection can save you from catastrophic surprises. Plus, professionals come with tools and expertise to pinpoint issues beyond the surface level.
So whether you don’t have the time to perform all of these checklist items or you want a more trained eye to inspect your residence, you shouldn’t overlook this crucial step.