The weather has cooled down, leaves have changed color, it’s beautiful...and it’s officially fall. While you enjoy this great weather, keep in mind that winter is just around the corner and it’s never too early to prepare your plumbing. Here are some great tips to get your plumbing prepped for winter and help you avoid any plumbing issues this year:
Remove, Drain & Store Hoses
If you want your garden hoses to last another year, they should be properly stored. Drain them and place them in an area of your home that won’t reach freezing temperatures. Although it seems like a small thing, disconnecting your hoses can help them last longer and save you from having issues with the pipes connected to their attached faucets.
Turn Off The Hose Bibb
The hose bibb is the outside spigot or faucet that your hoses attach to. Some homes have frost-proof hose bibbs that don’t require any extra attention. If your hose bibbs aren't frost-proof, make sure they’re properly turned off for the winter season so they don’t freeze and potentially burst. First, make sure they’re not dripping or leaking. If they are, we advise that you get them fixed before the winter season so that water doesn’t freeze in the supply line and possibly cause the pipes to burst. Next, locate and turn off each bibb’s shut off valve. These are usually located inside the house. Once the supply valve has been turned off, go outside and turn on the faucets to drain the excess water. Then go back inside and locate the “bleeder valve” which is near the shut off valve. Hold a bowl under this and drain any excess water.
Water Heater Maintenance
Water heaters need to be maintained often, especially if they are getting old. Most water heaters last between 8 to 12 years, but annual maintenance can increase the lifespan of your water heater by several years. Winter is when your hot water heater works the hardest, so fall is a good time to flush the system and make sure that your water heater is set to the optimal temperature of 120ºF. If you are worried that it’s time to replace your water heater, one of our plumbing professionals can recommend what’s best for your home.
Clean Out The Gutters
Clean any leaves and loose debris from your gutters. Blocked gutters will prevent rainwater from draining properly and could cause damage to your home such as broken gutters, roof issues, water freezing into your foundation, etc. If you live in an area with lots of trees, you may need to clean them out more than once before winter.
Prepare For Vacations
If you are a “Snowbird” or plan on being away for several months on vacation during the winter months, it is a good idea to turn your water off and drain your system before you leave. Also keep your thermostat set at a minimal temperature so that nothing freezes. 55ºF is our recommended minimal temperature.
At A#1 Air, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your plumbing system and water heater. If you have any questions or need help winterizing your plumbing, give us a call or schedule your service today!