Maintaining your plumbing is one of the essential responsibilities of a homeowner, and staying on top of these tasks helps ensure things don’t go wrong. Late summer and early autumn are especially important times to check that everything is running properly, because before you know it, it will be time to begin preparing for the winter once again. Here are some warm weather plumbing maintenance tips to make sure everything goes smoothly when the cold weather comes:
Take the Opportunity to Insulate Exposed Plumbing
While the warm weather is present, take the chance to get a head start on preparing your home for year-round plumbing security.
While exterior pipes are often at the highest risk of bursting in winter months, you should also make sure your interior pipes aren’t exposed. Do this before cold weather sets in, so you can avoid any trouble in the months ahead.
Pipes in a garage or an unheated basement can be susceptible to freeze if they aren’t well insulated, so take the time now to look out for areas that might need a bit of extra insulation to function well while temperatures drop. One thing people often don’t think to insulate is a septic tank. While this plumbing is constructed to handle various conditions, in extreme cold it is possible to have the septic freeze, which can lead to a backup within your home. Better to take extra precaution by laying down hay to insulate the outdoor tank than to deal with a frozen septic.
Water Heater Maintenance
The warmer months are a great time to check in with your water heater. As the machine will need to work harder during the cold season, it is often recommended to set the unit to 120°F. This will help ensure your water stays hot even as the temperatures drop. This is also a great time to perform regular maintenance on your water heater. Whether you have a traditional tank unit or a newer tankless model, draining and flushing the unit will help extend its lifetime and ensure it continues to run well. Finally, as long as you are working with your water heating unit, checking the pressure relief valve is recommended. But be careful – the water coming out will be extremely hot and could result in a serious burn. If you don’t feel comfortable performing this maintenance yourself, never hesitate to hire a professional.
Sump Pump Maintenance
The summer and fall are also a great time to check to ensure the sump pump is performing well. As a homeowner, ensuring a dry basement is one of the best ways to guard against mold and mildew and keep your home in good condition. As the sump pump is responsible for getting water out of the basement, making sure the pump is clean and doesn’t need any repairs before snow melt could leave water leaking into the house is highly recommended.
By performing these warm weather plumbing maintenance tasks before the first freeze, you can protect your home from potentially serious plumbing issues. Putting in the work now will save you stress later, and never hesitate to call a professional for help or to make necessary repairs.