With summer soon to be a distant memory, the changing leaves and cooler temperatures remind us that cold weather is not far beyond. Winter is the hardest season of the year where plumbing is concerned—not just because of the danger of frozen pipes but because the stress of the temperature changes themselves can cause the pipes to weaken, leak or break. To spare yourself the possibility of expensive plumbing bills down the road, the following fall plumbing checklist will help you make sure your home is winter-ready.
Check All Water Valves and Faucets
All faucets should open and close easily. Check to make sure the valves close completely and that no water drips out of them. Cold temperatures can aggravate already leaky faucets and promote pipe freezing.
Check for Leaks Under Sinks and Toilets
Open the bathroom and kitchen cabinets under every sink and look for signs of drips. Run your hands along the pipes to check for moisture. If you have the tools and some basic know-how, tighten the joints as needed to stop water from leaking through.
Clear Debris from Gutters and Downspouts
Fall is prime time for roof gutter clogs, thanks to the falling leaves from nearby trees. Do a visual check of your gutter system and clear out any debris. (You may have to do this several times until the trees have fully shed.) Take a garden hose, spray water into the gutters, then observe as the water comes through the downspouts. If they show signs of obstruction, get them cleaned. If your gutters are clogged in winter, melting snow may find alternate pathways into your home.
Test Your Sump Pump for Proper Operation
Rainy weather and melting snow can cause the water table to rise. Prevent flooding in your basement by making sure your sump pump is working properly. If necessary, clean it out and have basic maintenance performed.
Prepare Hosebibs and Sprinkler Systems for Winter
Check all your outside spigots to make sure they close completely. Drain your sprinkler system and shut off the main valve for the winter to prevent water from sitting and freezing in the pipes. Drain garden hoses, roll them up and store them for winter to keep them from cracking.
Check Your Water Meter to Detect Hidden Leaks
Some leaks may not be readily visible to your eye (for example, leaks behind the walls). To check for hidden leaks, make sure all water is turned off in the house, make a note of your water meter reading, then leave the house for a few hours. If the reading is different when you return, you may have internal leaks.
If you notice any problems while going through this fall checklist, call a plumber to schedule servicing of these issues. If you leave them until winter sets in, they may become much more costly to fix. Call Budget Rooter for an appointment or inspection today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Palady, RMP is the President and co-owner of Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. This family owned plumbing company has been serving their customers for more than 25 years, and makes customer service and quality of work their priority.
Jeff started working in the field at the age of fifteen under the tutelage of his father, who owned a Philadelphia-based plumbing and drain cleaning company. At the age of eighteen, Jeff and his mother decided to open their own shop in their home state of Delaware. For the first few years, Jeff was Budget Rooter’s only field technician, and was often out on calls until late at night while going to school to earn his Master’s License. As Budget Rooter grew, Jeff trained new technicians, researched and purchased the best equipment, and today he manages the operations of the company.
Known for being dedicated to Budget Rooter, Jeff is one of the first to arrive in the morning and is usually the last to leave. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys fishing, modifying his truck, and spending time with his wife and two sons.