Take care of your pipes before the weather freezes!
Fall is just beginning, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to start thinking about protecting your pipes for the winter! This is a great time to make a plumbing to-do list before the first winter weather hits your area!
1. Clean fall leaves from your gutters. Gutters that are cleaned and drain freely will not freeze when freezing temperatures arrive, and if not cleared the copious leaves of fall can accumulate in your drain system, leading to bad smells and clogging issues.
2. Check outside faucets for leaks and make necessary repairs – even a small drip can cause a pipe to burst. When freezing temperatures come, turn toff the interior valve to outdoor faucets. Also, you can cover outdoor faucets with a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit (available at most hardware stores).
3. Disconnect outdoor water hoses, drain any remaining water and put them in a protected area. This both prevents interior pipes from freezing and bursting, and will save the hose from bursting as well.
4. Flush out your water heater to remove sediment buildup and rust, which causes corrosion and reduces heating efficiency. Check the manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions concerning your particular model.
5. If you have one, inspect and clean your sump pump to be sure it is operating properly. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze; but a pump in good working order is less liable to do so. If the pump needs maintenance, call before the weather turns colder.