The Autumn season has a way of sneaking up on most homeowners. While you may still be enjoying poolside BBQ’s and stargazing in the warm weather, there is an unmistakable chill in the air that starts to creep in. Before the temperatures fall too far, it’s important to do some basic checks and maintenance on the plumbing in and around your home so you don’t have any unexpected disasters during the coldest winter months. Take a look at some of our tips below and start putting them to use while it’s still nice and warm outside.
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) Visual Inspect and Insulate Pipes:
A visual inspection should only be done on exposed pipes, such as on the outside of your home, in the crawlspace, the basement, and the garage. The pipes that run through the walls inside of your home are actually safe from freezing because they stay much warmer than pipes exposed to colder temperatures.
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.
4) 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.
At Jolly Plumbing we are experts at ensuring your plumbing is in tip top shape for any season if you need any help getting your plumbing and heater ready for Winter or if a problem comes up during the process give us a call any time and we will be happy to help.