In a few short weeks, the winter months will be upon us here in Central Indiana – and seasoned Hoosiers know that can mean freezing temperatures that aren’t very friendly to a home’s plumbing system. Over the fall season, homeowners should perform various fall plumbing maintenance tasks to prepare plumbing pipes, the water heater, sump pump system, outdoor faucets, and exterior plumbing for when temperatures drop.
Mr. Plumber helps you avoid a winter plumbing problem such as frozen pipes, burst pipes, sewer line clogs, and water damage, as well as the costly repairs needed to enforce a permanent solution to the issue. Our fall plumbing tips cover areas of the plumbing system such as:
Take it from a professional plumber – if you have a pipe burst, this will wreak havoc on your family and house over the holiday season. Use our fall plumbing maintenance tips to prepare before winter hits and avoid home plumbing headaches caused by freezing water and leaks. If you need help with the plumbing maintenance tips on your fall to-do list, feel free to contact Mr. Plumber night or day.
During periods of freezing temperatures, the home’s pipes, both interior pipes and exterior plumbing pipes, are at risk of damage or a pipe burst if you have water freezing within. Water expands when freezing, exerting pressure on pipes from the inside. Freezing water could create a blockage and frozen pipes, or cause pipes to break and form leaks, known as burst pipes.
Burst pipes have the potential to form severe leaks, resulting in significant water damage to surrounding areas that may go unnoticed for a time – this is not a discovery you want to make when hosting parties this holiday season! Prepare interior pipes to prevent freezing before temperatures drop as we move from fall to the winter months.
The best way to do so is to insulate interior pipes in high-risk and unheated areas of the house. Focus plumbing tips on unheated areas to ensure pipes are properly insulated in or along your:
Special materials are made to insulate plumbing pipes and ensure they stay properly insulated to retain heat over the winter. You can insulate interior pipes by adding foam or fiberglass sleeves for pipes or applying heat tape directly to exposed copper or PVC supply pipes in unheated areas throughout the house. Insulate both hot and cold water supply plumbing piping for the best protection and energy efficiency.
Central Indiana homeowners need a trusty water heater to access warm water for all sorts of tasks around the house, in the fall, winter, and throughout the year. When temperatures drop in the fall, it’s an ideal time to put water heater plumbing maintenance tips on your to-do list to ensure this plumbing appliance receives the attention it needs.
Have the Water Heater Inspected
You need to have the home’s plumbing system water heater inspected once each year – feel free to make this part of your fall plumbing maintenance routine. Having the water heater inspected allows a professional plumber to test its operation and inspect its condition so that any plumbing problem affecting appliance can be repaired to prevent leaks and water damage as well as improve its energy efficiency.
Drain Your Tank Water Heater
If your water heater is a storage tank-style system, you should drain the tank every six months or so as part of your routine plumbing maintenance work. If your house has very hard water, you may need to drain the tank more often.
There is one exception to this plumbing maintenance rule – don’t drain your water heating tank if it’s more than a few years old and you’ve never done so before! In this case, these regular fall plumbing maintenance tips could actually create a plumbing problem, like leaks. Sediment buildup can be helpful in plugging up leaks in the tank, and draining the water heater will expose the leaks and force you to replace this plumbing appliance to avoid water damage.
It’s important to flush out the storage tank to remove sediment buildup that naturally forms in the plumbing appliance. This sediment buildup makes it harder for the water heater to warm water, forcing the hot water heater to use excess electricity or natural gas to get the job done.
Follow these fall plumbing tips to drain your water heater:
While you may question what your home’s gutters have to do with the home plumbing system, issues with the gutters can actually cause more work for parts of your home’s plumbing. When the gutters are clogged or don’t drain properly, more water can infiltrate the foundation of the house, flooding the basement or crawlspace and creating more work for your sump pump after fall – this is why we include gutters on our list of fall plumbing tips.
Bad gutters can also damage the roofline with ice dams from freezing water, and even cause an outdoor heat pump to freeze up in the winter. Avoid issues with freezing temperatures once winter hits and prepare your gutters over the short weeks of fall to be safe with these maintenance tips:
At the end of fall, it’s time to disconnect and store hoses for the winter and prepare exterior plumbing fixtures like outdoor faucets for freezing temperatures once winter hits. If you fail to prepare the exterior faucet for winter in the fall, hidden burst pipes could wreak havoc on your home for an extended period before you even detect the leaks!
Fall Plumbing Tips to Care for Exterior Plumbing Hoses
Fall Plumbing Tips to Prepare Outdoor Faucets for Winter
Once winter hits, Central Indiana can accumulate a great volume of snow throughout the holiday season. When temperatures begin to warm, snowmelt saturates the ground with water that can seep into the foundation of your house. Without a working sump pump system, you could have a flooded basement or crawlspace to deal with.
Prepare your home plumbing system sump pump for this end-of-winter task now in the fall. Make sure your sump pump is functioning properly with these plumbing maintenance tips:
Here are additional fall plumbing tips to help you prep your home plumbing system for winter temperatures that are to come.
A Central Indiana home’s plumbing can be vulnerable to cold temperatures that come after fall, and the resulting problems most certainly will wreak havoc on unfortunate homeowners this winter. Avoid fall plumbing problems when you ready your home’s plumbing piping, fixtures, and appliances with Mr. Plumber’s plumbing tips for fall. If you have questions about our fall plumbing tips or need fall plumbing services before temperatures crawl closer to freezing, call us today to request an appointment.