Fall Plumbing Tips

12/10/16 2:31 PM


spigotWe’re officially into autumn now and that’s a good time to do a little preventive plumbing work. You can avoid a plumbing bill and some headaches by doing just a few simple things around your home while the weather is still moderate.

Close Outside Spigots

Find the valve that shuts off water to our outside spigots and say aloud, “Righty, tighty.” Turn until firmly secure. Now, you won’t have water standing inside that pipe as it sticks out into the frigid winter air. Water that isn’t there can’t freeze and expand, causing a crack that will leak water into your home later, when the temperature rises.

Also, disconnect all outdoor hoses and drain them. If you have them wound on a reel, unwind them and lay them out on the ground. Lift one end and move along the length until the water is out before you rewind the hose. Storing it inside a garage or shed is better but if there is no water inside the hose, then it’s less likely to crack and you won’t need to buy a new one in the spring.

Pump Out Your Septic Tank

Most people don’t think of septic tanks as part of their plumbing system but… it’s where things end up. You should have someone regularly pump out the contents and advise you on how frequently your system needs attention. One that serves a family of five needs more pump outs than one of a family of three.

If you’re on city water and sewer, go to where the systems enter your house. Check for leaks. In the summer, pipes can sweat and it’s difficult to distinguish a leak from condensation. Autumn is less humid and a small leak is easier to fix now than a big one later.

Check Your Sump Pump

If you are using a pump to help keep your basement dry, now is a good time to give it a once-over. Grab a five-gallon bucket and slowly pour water into the sump pit. A float should rise and start the pump before the water level reaches the top of the pit. Make sure water is pumped out of the pit completely. Have a friend or family member check the drain that expels the water during this procedure, to ensure it isn’t blocked.

Clear Aerators

Unscrew the tips of your faucets; this is a little tricky as it’s lefty-loosey but upside down. Run the faucet without the aerator to get rid of grit or dirt that might be in there, and give the aerator a quick rinse. Depending on the amount of material that might get caught there, you can notice a significant improvement in water flow.

Pay Attention

Are areas damp near the sink? Does the shower seem wimpier than before? Is there a puddle under the hot water heater? Take a moment to check around plumbing fixtures and under sinks (move that stuff in the kitchen cabinet below the sink) because a problem detected early is always easier to address than one that can’t be ignored. Also, it’s always better to schedule a plumber when it’s convenient than to scramble for help when it’s an emergency plumbing situation.

Classic Plumbing by Reno is just a phone call away 860-748-7305 to help address potential problems!

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