Fall has arrived and we are starting to see some relief with slightly cooler days. Soon the temperatures will dip further down and the leaves will be changing. You will be doing chores around the home and yard in preparation for winter. Be sure to add in our fall plumbing tips to prevent freezing pipes and other problems.
Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing
You shouldn’t wait to make repairs when you discover a leaking pipe, but with the weather changing your pipes will be more vulnerable to freezes when they already have a weakness such as a leak. To check for leaks, look for dripping faucets, running toilets and other signs such as water spots and stains. Make all necessary repairs.
Insulate your pipes.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent winter freezes from damaging your pipes is to insulate them from the cold. To start, do an inspection in and around your house to determine which pipes are vulnerable to the cold and need better insulation. The pipes that are in unheated areas are the most vulnerable. These include pipes along outside walls and in your garage and shed.
Clear out leaves from your gutters and drains.
Get a hose to clean the gutters and drains so they are free flowing. Be prepared to do this a few times this fall season because leaves in Georgia tend to hang on the trees for a while.
Disconnect the sprinkler system and clean out the sprinkler pipes.
With the grass going dormant you won’t need to use the sprinkler system so disconnect it now before you forget. You can use an air compressor to blow out the pipes so they are more likely to survive winter freezes and be in good condition come spring.
Shut off and drain your pool pump.
If you have a pool you won’t be using it much with the cooler temperatures and will need to start closing it. This includes shutting off the pool pump, draining it and storing it to prevent freezing. Check the manufacturer’s manual for instructions and suggestions.
Test and maintain your sump pump.
With the end of summer comes the end of the dry season in Georgia and more potential for rain in the future. If you have a basement, you also have a sump pump to help keep out any water. Now is a good time to test it and make any necessary repairs so it is working properly.
Drain and put away the garden hose.
As the weather progresses through the fall you won’t be needing the garden hose. There will be less need to water the plants and lawn. Before you roll it up, make sure to drain it to remove any excess water.
Cover your outdoor faucets.
Your outdoor faucets can be vulnerable to freezes and be a big source of leaks. And since you won’t be using them much if at all in the winter, outdoor faucet leaks will too easily go undetected until spring. Protect them by covering with insulated wraps that you can buy at garden and hardware stores.
Drain your water heater.
Remove sediments by draining your water heater as part of maintenance. We suggest you drain it about twice per year. Place a bucket under the overflow pipe and open the valve. Be careful because the water is scalding hot.
Clean your drains.
Any vulnerability in your pipes can be accelerated when freezing temperatures arrive. A small crack in a sewer line can then become a nightmare. The best prevention is to reduce the potential for clogs. Clean your drains by pouring down a mixture of vinegar and hot water to unclog any waste and debris that has accumulated.
The cooler weather of fall is a reminder to handle chores now with these plumbing tips before the more sudden and unpredictable winter weather arrives. If you have a leak to repair, need assistance with inspecting your plumbing system or want maintenance performed, call High Priority Plumbing. You can contact us at 770.860.8110 in Atlanta or 912.373.7707 in Savannah.