Fall is one of the most enjoyable seasons of the year. The weather is nice, the leaves are changing, and the best sports are on TV. In a lot of ways, fall is like the calm before the storm, and any plumber in Boise would give you a few tips to prepare your plumbing for the cold and the storms that are likely to come. Don’t wait until the weather is already uncomfortably cold, and don’t wait for a problem to happen before you start taking precautions. There are three easy-to-follow tips for homeowners to use in the fall.
The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside of your home. If you have outdoor faucets connected to hoses or a swamp cooler, their waterlines are most exposed to the cold. The first step is to disconnect and drain all hoses, as the water left in these can freeze, and can freeze the faucets and pipes they’re connected to as well. You should also check outside for leaks, as these can lead to serious damage and flooding. Styrofoam faucet installation kits are installed on outside faucets for extra protection from cold weather.
Your water heater is used year round, but once winter arrives, it will have to exert itself more to create hot water. To make sure your water heater is ready for this extra load, drain it and remove any sediment buildup. Be sure to clean your water heater properly by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the water heater is refilled, check the water heater’s pressure relief valve by lifting up on it briefly. A burst of hot water should shoot out and into the drain pipe. If not, you’ll need a replacement. If your water heater is older than 5 years, ask a plumber to check the pressure relief valve for you, as checking it yourself could lead to damage.
While the proper drainage of snow runoff from a roof isn’t always associated with plumbing, it is still extremely important when winter months come. While the weather is still warm (or at least tolerable), grab a ladder and clean the rain gutters on your roof. It is common for leaves and other debris blown by the wind to accumulate in these gutters and downspouts, which prevents water from being drained effectively. Clogged gutters and downspouts can contribute to many other problems when a roof is covered in melting snow.
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