During the fall season, Central Kentucky homeowners have plenty of seasonal home maintenance to focus on. From raking leaves and cleaning rain gutters, the fall to-do list is always growing. Your home’s plumbing, however, is one of the most important pieces of your fall maintenance checklist. To help prepare your home’s plumbing for the upcoming winter months, follow these 7 Plumbing Maintenance Tips.
Disconnect Your Outdoor Water Hoses
Disconnecting any outdoor water hoses is one of the first and easiest steps to preparing your home for winter. It may seem minor, but any water hoses left connected during colder temperatures can cause serious issues. As temperatures drop below freezing, any water inside the hoses can freeze and expand, which can cause faucets and connected pipes inside of your home to freeze and break. Prevent this by simply disconnecting your water hoses, draining them of any remaining water, and storing the hoses in a safe and dry area.
Cover Your Outdoor Faucets
After removing the outdoor water hoses, inspect your outdoor faucets for any leaks or drips. Fall is an ideal time to correct any leaks, since small leaks can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues during a freeze. Once your outdoor faucets are completely functional, cover the faucets with a styrofoam insulation kit.
Insulate Your Pipes
If any of your piping is in non-heated areas, such as a crawl space or a garage, it is crucial to ensure these pipes are insulated. This protection will help keep your pipes from freezing during the winter.
Locate Your Interior Shut-Off
Check to see if your home is equipped with an interior shut-off valve for any outdoor faucets or plumbing. If so, shut off the interior valve and open the outdoor faucet to make sure there is no remaining water in the line that would be susceptible to freezing.
Seal Any Gaps
There are several areas around your home where external pipes enter your home. Over time though, it is common for small gaps between the walls and these pipes to develop. These gaps may seem insignificant, but they allow for cold air penetration, which could lead to high heating bills and frozen pipes throughout the winter. This fall, spend some time reviewing where pipes enter your home and use weather stripping, caulking, or insulation to seal any gaps.
Insulate Your Sump Pump
If you own a sump pump, be sure to inspect its location to see if it could be exposed to any of the extreme winter temperatures. Exposure may lead to your sump pump freezing and being unable to operate, so remember to fully clean and insulate it.
Flush Your Water Heater
With colder ground temperatures, your water heater will be working harder to provide the same temperature and amount of hot water. Help your water heater run as efficiently as possible by having the tank completely flushed. A regular flush of your water heater will remove any sediment build up inside of the tank. These build ups are quite common and can block proper heat transfer within your water heater.
For more questions or to schedule a full home Plumbing System Check Up & Safety Inspection, call the Professional Plumbers at H20 Maestro 859-361-7925.