top of page
  • Writer's pictureJolly Plumbing

Fall Plumbing Checklist for your Home

As we work our way through August in Colorado, the fall months are just right around the corner. The leaves will be changing, the air will be cooling, and winter will be following shortly. Even though it’s still summer, there are plenty of home maintenance things you can do to get your home ready for the changing fall weather. You never want to be unprepared in Colorado, especially as winter approaches.

The days are getting cooler here in Colorado Springs! Fall is here, and winter follows closely behind, bringing with it snowfall and ice sheets. As beautiful as Colorado winters can be, they can be incredibly harsh with the high altitude, the feet upon feet of snow, and the temperature dropping well below the freezing point. The plumbing system in your home can be vulnerable to the wintertime if it has not been properly maintained during the past seasons. Pipes can freeze, water heaters can malfunction, and leaks can burst causing a plumbing emergency: there are many issues that can arise if the home is not prepared.

That’s why we’ve created the number one Fall Checklist for your home to ensure that you do not have any plumbing problems during the winter. Follow these quick, DIY maintenance steps to prep your home while the weather is still warm so you don't need any of our plumbing services in the Winter!


Jump to a section


Check Outdoor Faucets

Dripping outdoor faucets are one of the leading causes for frozen pipes in the winter. The gradual leaking won’t affect your home too much in summer time, but once the temperature reaches its freezing point, that drip-drip-drip will turn into ice, and that ice will start expanding all the way up your faucet and into the piping in your home. Before the weather turns cool, walk around your house and make sure all those faucets and spigots are tightly shut off. You can use a wrench to do this if the handle needs more force than your hand. If there is a persistent leak after the fact, call a local plumber to come and replace the valve stem assembly.

Secure Outdoor Water Hoses:

Disconnecting outdoor water hoses is an essential step in making sure you don’t experience frozen or burst pipes during the winter. There is always a small amount of water that is still contained in a hose even if it is turned off, so when that water freezes and expands it can cause the pipes attached to it to crack or burst. The correct way to store hoses would be in a dry area out of direct sunlight, like a garage or shed.

Shut off your Sprinkler System

If you have an underground sprinkler system, it is best to get those turned off completely by a professional. Even if the sprinklers are not turning on in the winter, the water line is still connected if the system is left on. This could cause irreparable damage to your sprinkler heads if the underground system gets frozen. It is best to fully shut off the water to the system to ensure that nothing gets harmed during wintertime.

Clean the Gutters

While not directly a plumbing issue, clearing debris from your gutters and downspouts can be a significant help during the winter to keep your drainage system from clogging and freezing. If you are able to do so safely, clear your gutters from all branches, leaves, clotted dirt, and any other debris that has collected over the summer. Make sure all your downspouts are clear as well so that they have a clear pathway for proper drainage once that winter ice begins to melt.

Inspect and Maintenance the Water Heater

Once you’ve completed your outdoor plumbing inspection, it’s time to move indoors. Wintertime prompts your water heater to work overtime, which means it is best to complete any water heater maintenance before the weather turns cold. It would be very unpleasant if you ran out of hot water during December. To begin your inspection, check the age of your water heater. If it is older than 10 years, it is time to get your water heater replaced. If it is still in its peak years, you can maintenance your water heater by flushing it. To flush a water heater, you need to follow a series of steps:

  1. Locate your breaker box and turn off the electricity that is connected to your water heater.

  2. Turn off the cold water supply at the top of your water heater.

  3. Turn on the hot water in a nearby sink or tub. This will prevent a vacuum from forming.

  4. Attach a hose to the bottom of the tank and put the other end outside, near a drain, or in a large bucket. If you use buckets, you will have to watch carefully to replace the bucket with another one when it gets full.

  5. Open the drain cock to release the water from the tank.

Flushing your water heater has many benefits for your plumbing system. It not only allows you to check the pressure of the water, but also check for any debris or particles that may be in the water. Flushing also extends the life of your water heater, as it removes any build-up inside the tank. This prevents future corrosion and consequential aging for your heater.

Inspect and Insulate Pipes

Head to any places that you know are unheated and accessible, where pipes may be exposed. Places like your attic, crawl space, and garage usually have pipes that need to be inspected yearly. Check for any signs of leakage in these areas. If you see signs like stained drywall, pools of water, or an apparently dripping pipe, it’s time to call in your local plumber. Having a leaky pipe now is bad, but it will be ten times worse in the winter when everything freezes.

While you are doing your visual inspection, the main things you are looking for is pipes that look worn, rusted or pipes that have condensation on them. Condensation means that the pipe is in a moist area and may not be draining properly. Once you have verified all of your exposed pipes look good it’s time to insulate them. The best material for this is something called Lagging, which can be purchased at your local hardware store.

You should also insulate these exposed pipes if they are not already insulated. This will prevent them from getting too cold in the winter and keep your plumbing system flowing effectively. You can wrap the pipes with heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables to help.

Inspect the Sump Pump

Another thing that is prone to freezing is your home’s sump pump. This is a system that needs an inspection and proper maintenance annually. You can do this yourself, or you can call in a knowledgeable plumber to do a proper evaluation to prepare your home for winter.

Turn On Your Boiler:

While you may not yet need the boiler to produce heat for your home, it’s still a good idea to turn it on for 15 minutes. If a boiler is allowed to sit dormant for months at a time it can potentially cause issues once the boiler is turned back on. As you can imagine, it’s best to know about any issues in the fall while there is still time to get the boiler repaired, rather than dealing with them in the winter when you are relying on the boiler for constant heat.

Seal Gaps:

Sealing gaps can include every area of your home where cold air can get in and cause discomfort and higher utility bills. Some of the most notorious places for gaps are actually where exterior pipes transfer into your home. Over time there is a gap that develops between the pipe and surrounding wall which can cause a pesky draft that is hard to track down. To seal this gap you can use any number of materials, the most common of which are weather stripping, caulking, and insulating foam.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Springs Plumber Near You

Overall, preparing your home for fall isn’t too complicated and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. These simple tips are meant to give you ideas on areas of your home that might need to be checked and fixed up prior to the cold Colorado months rolling in. If you are ever unsure about a potential problem in your home, you can always call on an experienced, trustworthy professional.

Jolly Plumbing and Heating has been serving Colorado Springs since 1995. We offer full plumbing, heating, and water heater services for residential homes and commercial buildings. Contact us today for any of your questions or requests!


Colorado Springs Plumber Review​

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I hired Jolly Plumbing to take care of a small leak and verify that there were no other leaks. One of their competitors did work in the house before we bought it and failed to properly secure one connection. They sent over Adam who has over 20 years of plumbing experience. Adam's father was a plumber, so this guy grew up in the business and really knows his stuff. Their charge was reasonable and I felt like Adam really had our best interest in mind. If you need an honest plumbing service, I recommend giving these guy a try. - Merlin L. on Google.

55 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All


Lionel Hasenberg
Lionel Hasenberg

As it gets cooler and winter near, it's important to get your home ready for the cold weather. Follow the fall plumbing checklist to avoid problems like frozen pipes and issues with your water heater. Prepare now to have a smooth winter season with these important home maintenance tips. If you are unsure about what to do then it is essential to contact a plumber near you like i used to call Plumber Plantation FL.

bottom of page