Fall is here, and it’s time to weatherize your plumbing before heading into the deep freeze of the winter months. While we understand that you are still drying out from the incredible amount of rain we’ve had in Toledo, it’s never too early to prepare your plumbing for the changing seasons.
Here’s six fall plumbing tips to help improve your chances of any damage to your system:
Remove, drain and store your garden hoses: To keep your hose around for several years, you want to completely drain them. Once it is completely without water, coil them up and store in an area that is free from freezing temperatures. Even a little bit of water left in the hose can freeze and cause it to split.
Turn off the hose bibbs: One of the most important tasks you’ll do this fall is to properly turn off your hose bibb along with the inside water supply line. If you noticed any leakage this summer, we would recommend that you invest in a frost-proof hose bibb before the first frost occurs. If you don’t properly turn off the water, it can freeze in the line, and cause that line to burst.
Check your sewer system: Believe it or not, the fall, winter and spring months can overwork your sewer system. If you have had any issues in the past or would like to have preventative maintenance completed, give us a call to schedule a sewer line inspection.
Ensure your hot water heater is properly maintained: Annual maintenance is crucial to extend the life of your water heater. While most water heaters last from 8 to 12 years, water heater flushes tend to increase the efficiency and save money on future utility bills. Since you are already doing regular, preventative maintenance on your plumbing, include your hot water heater in that.
Test the heater’s pressure relief valve by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. In this case, we recommend that you call us to schedule the maintenance on that alone.
Wrap any exposed pipes with an insulation kit: You can get these at Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or any other hardware store. Many older homes have piping that is exposed to the outside walls, and it’s important to keep them insulated to protect them from freezing either in the pipes or at the valves.
Turn off the water: If you are going to be traveling over the holidays, we advise you to turn off the water at the main water supply and drain the system by opening the faucets at the highest and lowest points in the house. Maintain a temperature of about 55 degrees inside the house as well.
Even when you follow these fall plumbing tips, you can still run into frozen water pipes. Should you run into an emergency, we are available 24/7 to get your water back up and running as quickly as possible.