Fall is here, and with the change in seasons comes changes in your home maintenance needs. You may have already fired up your heating system and started using your air conditioner less, but have you considered your plumbing? At Smith’s Plumbing Services, our goal is to help customers enjoy a comfortable home and a functioning plumbing system no matter what time of year it is. Keep reading for the top five plumbing tips for fall, and remember to call our skilled plumbers for all your essential service needs.
The Top 5 Steps to Help You Maintain Your Plumbing This Fall:
- Take Care of Outdoor Hoses & Faucets: Leaving water inside your hoses can cause them to become damaged over the fall and winter seasons, especially as temperatures drop into the December-February lows. To prevent your hoses from becoming damaged, you should disconnect them, make sure they are drained thoroughly, and store them in a safe place while it is still fall. Once all of your exterior hoses are removed, you can then move on to your outdoor faucets/hose bibs. Check to see if your exterior faucets are leaking or dripping at all. Remember, leaks are not only a great way to waste water and money, they can also cause damage in your faucets when the winter weather rolls in. Call a plumber if your faucets need service, or purchase new faucets from your local hardware store if your current ones need to be replaced. If your outdoor faucets are in good shape, cover them up and make sure they are properly insulated for the next few months.
- Find Your Interior Shut-Off Valve: Your home likely contains an interior shut-off valve, which controls the outside plumbing and faucets mentioned above. This valve is the final key in ensuring there is no water left in your exterior plumbing that could cause problems over the fall and winter. Shut off your interior valve and open your outdoor faucet valve to make sure there is no water left in your lines. As an additional point of intertest, it is always a good idea to know where your shut-off valve is, in case, your plumbing suddenly springs a leak and you need to stop the flow of water to prevent flooding.
- Insulate Your Pipes: We already talked about insulating your faucets above, but it is often just as important to make sure your pipes are properly insulated during the fall, too. In particular, you should look out for pipes in non-heated areas, such as your garage or crawlspace. These pipes are particularly vulnerable to winter temperatures, and if it gets cold enough, the water in them can even freeze, causing pipe-bursting and a ton of other damage to your equipment. By properly insulating your pipes, you will be able to keep water flowing smoothly throughout your house regardless of what the temperature looks like outside.
- Seal Up Cracks & Holes Throughout Your Home: There are always going to be small spaces in the areas where pipes enter your home. Over time, these spaces may become bigger, developing into cracks and holes that can let in cold air. In addition to affecting the performance of your pipes and your larger plumbing system, too many gaps throughout your home will also force your HVAC system to work harder to compensate for air loss, meaning you end up paying more in heating and cooling bills for less comfort. To prevent this from happening, we suggest sealing up cracks and holes throughout your house, either through weather stripping, caulking, or by using insulation to lock in temperatures.
- Drain Your Water Heater Tank: Your water heater will always have to work harder during winter to provide you with the comfortable water temperature you expect and need. To save money, help your heater run more efficiently, and avoid putting unnecessary strain on your unit, make sure to flush out your water heater tank once you enter the fall season, thoroughly draining any sediment build-up that can interfere with the heat transfer process. Of course, to avoid having to do this, you can also install a cutting-edge tankless water heater, like the ones offered by Smith’s Plumbing Services. These energy-efficient systems are designed to provide an instant supply of hot water on-demand, as they do not have to reheat your water in a tank again and again.