It’s fall and you know what that means – winter will be here before you know it. Right now is a great time to make sure your home is prepared for the cold (which includes cleaning out your New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland gutters). Here are some other plumbing tips for the season:
Disconnect and Store Outdoor Hoses
Make sure all of your water spigots are turned off, then disconnect your outdoor hoses. If temperatures get down to freezing and your hoses are still connected, the water inside could freeze and cause problems for your indoor pipes. Also, store your hoses in an area that doesn’t dip below freezing on a regular basis – when rubber freezes and thaws over and over, it’s prone to cracking.
Clean Gutters Regularly
Fall means lots of pretty-colored leaves, however, many of those leaves could end up in your gutters. If your gutters aren’t cleaned out on a regular basis, those leaves could pile up and cause major problems once winter hits. Gutters that are clogged with debris could prevent water from draining correctly (which means water could end up leaking into your home).
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Take a look around your home and note any pipes that are exposed to the air. These pipes have a greater chance of freezing and bursting during cold temperatures, so make sure you insulate them properly in order to keep them warm.
Clean Out Your Septic System
Many people forget about their septic systems, and fall is a great time to give yours a thorough cleaning. Have your septic tank pumped and your sewer line snaked to remove any built-up debris and prevent clogs during the winter. Cleaning your septic system can be tough to do yourself, so trust a local plumbing professional to do to the job right.
Prep Before You Leave
You’re probably going to want to get away at some point this winter (we’re betting somewhere warm), but before you leave, make sure you prep your home for the cold temperatures. Turn off your main water valve and open up your faucets at the highest and lowest points of your home in order to drain the leftover water. This will keep the water in your pipes from freezing and expanding, which could lead to pipe damage. Also make sure that your home thermostat is set to no colder than 55 degrees. This will help keep your plumbing warm.
Flush Your Water Heater
Since you water heater works harder during the cold months, flush it out before winter sets in. This will help get rid of build-up, which can cause corrosion and reduce the water heater’s efficiency. Check with the manufacturer of your water heater for instructions on how to properly flush it.