The fall season is a great time to prepare your plumbing system for cooler temperatures. The fall plumbing maintenance checklist is pretty simple, but should help prevent the risk of problems when you least expect them.
Here are a few steps homeowners should take to prepare their plumbing system for the fall season:
- Clean the gutters and trim trees and shrubs.
Walk around your home and look for overgrown trees and shrubs that may be hanging over the roof and cluttering the gutters. In a storm, overgrown trees could crash onto the home and cause serious damage to the roof, gutters, and chimney. Clear away dirt, branches, and leaves from gutters, drains, and downspouts to eliminate blockages and prevent bursting pipes.
Also, take the time to snake out the drains to check for roots or other obstructions that might cause clogs.
- Inspect pipes and repair leaks.
Check toilets, faucets, and showers for leaks or signs of damage. Look for cracks, dents, and corrosion that could increase the risk of bursting pipes and a serious plumbing emergency. Where necessary, add caulking and waterproof sealant to keep water from seeping through. Inspect the sink disposal and dishwasher to ensure water is flowing freely.
- Flush out the water heater.
Regular maintenance will help keep the water heater working properly for years to come. At least once a year, flush the tank to remove sediment and rust and increase efficiency. Also be sure to inspect the anode rod for excessive corrosion.
- Test the sump pump.
A malfunctioning sump pump can cause flooding in the basement and extensive water damage. You can test the sump pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. If the sump pump is working properly, it should start up and begin pumping. If this doesn’t happen, check the electrical supply to see if the float arm is obstructed.
- Schedule an inspection of the sewer and drain lines.
Every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to do a video camera inspection to protect against clogged drains or sewer line failure. If you spot signs of a problem, use water jetting or an auger to clear things up.