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Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Fall

It’s time to say goodbye to summer as fall starts to creep in slowly. But before you relax and enjoy the changing colors, there is still work to be done. Winter will be here even sooner than you think, so using this time to prepare your home for the cold would be wise. This will ensure that you’ll keep your home and pipes safe, and avoid any major incidents like pipes freezing having to get sewer line repair from your local Loveland plumbers.

If you’re unsure of what needs to be done before winter, here is a plumbing maintenance checklist to get you started on your Loveland home:

  1. Check Water Hoses Outside Disconnect all your water hoses and drain them before storing them away for the season. Make sure that the hose is completely dry to avoid mold and mildew growth. If the hoses are left connected, there’s a risk of the water freezing. This leads to expansion and can affect the connected faucet and pipes inside your home and cause them to freeze and break.

  2. Check Outdoor Faucets Check all your outdoor faucets and inspect for leaks and drips, as this could lead to water damage and cause serious plumbing issues if it freezes. In extreme cases, it could affect your sewer line, which would be a huge replacement project for the Loveland plumbers. If you suspect that any faucets are leaky, it’s best to get them fixed as soon as possible and cover them with insulation to prevent them from freezing. You can use styrofoam insulation kits that are available for purchase to do so.

  3. Shut-Off the Interior Valve Any water remaining in the outdoor pipes over winter creates a big risk of freezing and can lead to pipe bursts. To prevent this from happening, you can flush out the water from these pipes by shutting off the interior valve while leaving the outside faucet open to allow the residual water to drain.

  4. Clear the Gutter and Sump Pump Debris in the gutters will prevent the water from draining, and allow it to freeze over. This will become an issue as water that gets thawed from elsewhere will not be able to drain properly and can lead to water damage. Ensure that the gutter is cleared so that water can be adequately drained. Similarly, the sump pump should also be cleaned so that there’s no residual water freezing up the pump and prevent it from working.

  5. Keep Pipes Insulated It’s important to keep your pipes protected for the winter season if they’re not in a heated area. Without any insulation, you run the risk of them freezing over and can lead to costly repairs if the pipes crack or burst. Check your pipes in crawl spaces and your garage to see if any of them need to be covered with insulation. Again, there are insulation kits that you can purchase to do so.

  6. Check for Gaps and Seal Them Gaps between the house and where the pipes enter the house are inevitable and can change in size as the house ages. With cold air seeping through these gaps, it could greatly impact your utility bill depending on how severe the weather gets. In some cases, when the temperature drops drastically, it can also cause your pipes to burst. Find all the points where the pipes enter your home so that you can seal them up adequately.

  7. Flush Out the Water Heater Tank With the cold coming into play, your water heater will be using more energy to provide heat up water to the same temperatures. Increase the efficiency of your water heater, the tank should be flushed out completely to remove any buildup of sediments, which is the culprit for preventing heat from transferring properly. For optimal performance, you can also set your water heater temperature to 120°F. Also, you can test the pressure release valve of the water heater to ensure that it is working properly — you can do so by simply lifting the lever and let it snap back and see if there are bursts of hot water entering the drain pipe. Consult a plumber to perform this test if your water heater is more than 5 years old to avoid any leaks.

If by chance winter comes unexpectedly and your pipes end up freezing before you completed the maintenance, here are the steps to help you reduce the damage:

  1. Shut off the water at the valve for the pipes in the affected area

  2. Leave the faucet on so that pressure doesn’t build up as you thaw the pipes

  3. Slowly thaw frozen pipes with the help of a hair dryer or heat gun — heating up the pipes too quickly could cause even more damage, so don’t use torches or open flames

  4. In the case of a crack or burst, you’ll need to immediately look for plumbing services from the local Loveland directory to get it fixed before it the situation worsens

It’s a good idea for everyone to know where the shutoff valve is for all the rooms in the home so that you can react quickly in the case of an unexpected pipe burst and avoid flooding. You can also ask your local plumber if you aren’t able to find them!

By performing these maintenance tasks on the checklist, you’ll be able to maximize the protection of your house to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. However, if there are any procedures you’re unsure of or cannot perform, it is advised that you hire a professional to help instead or you’ll run the risk of damaging your faucets or pipes.

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