While maintenance cannot eliminate the chance of you having a plumbing problem, it can help you reduce the risk of unnecessary breakdowns. Did you know that your plumbing is susceptible to different problems depending on the time of the year?
Preparing your pipes each season can help prevent damage to your home. We’ve rounded up some of the best seasonal plumbing tips to help you protect your plumbing.
Fall welcomes a drop in temperature to help remind us of the coming winter months. By preparing your pipes now, you can help reduce the chance of problems when chillier weather descends.
Here are some of preventative measures you can take in your home:
- Check to make sure outside faucets aren’t leaking or dripping. If you can’t make the necessary repairs, contact a plumber as cooler weather could cause the pipes to freeze. Rising water pressure would then cause cracks and lead to serious damage or flooding.
- Seal window and door leaks to reduce cold air penetration
- Test your water pressure relief valve. If your water heater is over five years old and has never been checked, call a plumber to check for corroded older valves or stuck seals. Also make sure your water heater’s thermostat is set at 120°F
- Shut off main water valves when leaving the house for extended periods
The winter months also call for holiday celebrations. Thanksgiving and Christmas can see a surge of guests at your house, putting more strain on your plumbing. To prevent inconvenient plumbing disasters when your home is filled with family and friends, follow some of these tips.
- Avoid pouring fats, hard-to-grind waster and cooking oil down your garbage disposal. These items cause your garbage disposal to break and your sink to clog.
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher at night. This conserves hot water and maintains good water pressure for your guests.
- Spread out showers throughout the day to help conserve hot water
To prevent pipes from freezing:
- Fit pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping
- Try to ensure pipes are installed in insulted places and buried below ground
If a pipe freezes:
- Turn off the water main line to prevent flooding
- Call a plumber at Legacy Plumbing – never attempt to fix a frozen pipe by yourself.
While spring brings nicer weather unlikely to damage your pipes, it’s also the perfect opportunity to do a little cleaning of your plumbing system. Here are some of the ways you can help protect your plumbing:
- Check for faucet leaks and drips
- Make sure your toilets flush properly. If you have to hold down the handle or jiggle it, you may have to replace worn parts. It is an inexpensive fix that will cut out annoyances and save you money.
- Check your water heater. Make sure the temperature is set at 120°F and check the first four serial numbers to see what year and month it was made. If it’s over 15 years old, consider replacing it.
- Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris
Summer is typically the time of year when most people buy homes. Before you buy your home, you should consider getting a professional plumbing inspection. You can also visually inspect a potential home with these tips.
- Survey the inside of cabinets for water damage. Use a flashlight to check for stains, leaks or warped cabinet bottoms.
- Run water from two different rooms. If running water in the kitchen sink and the bathtub causes a visible reduction in water volume, the piping may need to be replaced.
- Check the floor around your toilet and the wall connected to your bathtub. Soft floors and walls suggest that water is creating damage and floor/walls is rotting or weakened.
- Check exposed plumbing for signs of leaking.
These tips are provided to help you prevent unnecessary damage to your plumbing, but they don’t replace the experience or expertise of a professional plumber. If you see anything noticeably wrong with the plumbing in your home or are experiencing problems, contact Legacy Plumbing for a professional assessment of your plumbing.