Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips
Every homeowner knows that spring cleaning is a must. What you might not know is how much your plumbing system needs an annual deep cleaning, which we recommend you perform each fall. Combine winterizing efforts with this year’s fall plumbing maintenance and set yourself up for a great holiday season and beyond.
Fall Plumbing Maintenance Checklist Related to Winterizing
Make sure you complete the following winterizing tasks to prevent plumbing problems this winter:
1. Drain and flush your water heater.
Your water heater accumulates sediment over time, so it’s important to flush that sediment out of your water heater and check the inside of the tank for signs of rusting. This is a project you’ll want to tackle before it gets too cold out to do comfortably. Follow the detailed step-by-step instructions on how to drain and flush your water heater for the best results. If it’s been three years since your last anode rod change, consider hiring a plumber to flush the tank for you and replace the anode rod at the same time.
2. Perform backflow testing on your irrigation system.
Do you have an irrigation system? If so, have you gotten your backflow preventer system tested this year? Irrigation systems in Charlotte must be checked once a year (it’s the law). Why? Because that backflow preventer does exactly what it sounds like, it prevents bacteria and dirt and debris from flowing into your drinking water, contaminating your water supply you use for cooking, drinking, bathing, etc. Give us a call; we perform backflow testing!
3. Empty hoses and put them in the garage for winter, and winterize hose bibs.
Follow these step-by-step tips to winterize your hose bibs:
- Locate your hose bib’s shut-off valve inside your home (check your basement, crawl space, or utility room to find it).
- Shut off the indoor valve (each hose bib will have its own shutoff - don’t miss any!).
- Detach all hoses from outdoor spigots
- Drain the hoses to remove as much water before storing
- Turn outdoor faucets to the “on” position
4. Insulate exposed pipes.
I know I know… you’re thinking frozen pipes are not an issue in Charlotte, but guess what our busiest month of the year is? January (or February, depending on when the coldest weather hits)! Why? Because Charlotte homes are not built to handle winter, and when that cold snap hits, we are inundated with calls from distressed homeowners dealing with frozen pipes, or worst, burst pipes and lots of water damage. Follow these instructions on how to insulate your pipes.
Additional Fall Plumbing Maintenance to Tackle
The following are six simple, quick maintenance tasks that you can knock out in no time at all:
1. Check all appliance hoses for cracks.
Check under sinks and behind appliances for signs of wear and tear. Replace cracked hoses.
2. Check toilets for leaky flappers.
Place three drops of blue or green food coloring into the tanks of all your toilets. Check the toilet bowls in half hour. Seeing color in the bowl? You’ve got a leaky flapper! Pick up a new one at the hardware store and replace it before you lose more money to excess water usage!
3. Check faucets and shower heads for leaks.
Take a moment to check out all the faucets and shower heads in the house. Found a leak you haven’t been motivated to fix? Let this cost of leaking faucets calculator inspire you to make necessary repairs!
4. Clear out drains.
Give drains a thorough cleaning with a Zip It and follow up with Bio-Clean. You’ll be shocked at how much hair and gunk you can remove with a Zip It (and they only cost about a dollar!).
5. Clean the garbage disposal.
Run baking soda and vinegar down the garbage disposal and follow with cold water and ice cubes to sharpen the blades.
6. Deodorize the dishwasher.
Clean the strainer (which catches food particles) and run one cup of vinegar through the dishwasher to clean and deodorize it. Such a simple way to keep your dishwasher smelling great!
Need a Charlotte Plumber to Help With Fall Plumbing Maintenance?
If you can’t tackle these plumbing maintenance tasks yourself, give us a call at 704.846.5371. We will gladly take care of whatever plumbing tasks you need to be addressed.
Quick question & answer: What fall plumbing maintenance should I do every year?
Each fall, plumbing maintenance is recommended. You can drain and flush your water heater. Perform backflow testing on your irrigation system. Empty hoses and put them in the garage for winter, and winterize hose bibs. Insulate exposed pipes. In addition, you can:
- Check all appliance hoses for cracks
- Check toilets for leaky flappers
- Check faucets and shower heads for leaks