The start of fall will bring with it cooler weather and it's likely the temperature will continue to drop as winter gets closer. If you've been lazy about making sure your plumbing is ready for the colder days ahead, don't hesitate for too long. Take care of your plumbing in the fall before the coldest weather arrives and causes problems for you in the winter. Here are some important plumbing tips to keep in mind as you watch the mercury on the thermometer start to drop.
Let's Start Outside
Summer is often a time when people will do yard work or let the kids run through the sprinklers. You might even have a pool that you enjoyed swimming in. But once summer is over, you really should shut down any outdoor plumbing lines as soon as possible. For example, make sure all of your pool lines and sprinkler lines are properly drained. Disconnect any outdoor hoses you have connected to an exterior faucet. Make sure all hoses are properly drained and stored before the temperature goes down to freezing.
Plumbing Insulation is Well Worth the Investment
If you have exposed pipes in your basement and you know that the temperature in your neck of the woods can get frigid cold in the winter, make this year the one where you give your plumbing a little extra help. A local plumber can install insulation on all of your exposed pipes in order to protect your plumbing from the cold. Proper insulation will make it less likely that your plumbing freezes over. A frozen pipe can quickly become a burst pipe and then you'll have a large repair bill, not to mention a mess to clean up. If you want to try and do this yourself, look for pipe sleeves or heat tape at a local home improvement store, but again, it's best to let a professional handle this if you don't know what you're doing.
Start Opening Cabinets or Turning on Faucets as Needed
If you live somewhere in the country where freezing temperatures will return during the later days of fall, you need a plan in place to keep your pipes from freezing over. The insulation you hopefully installed will help, but you can still do more.
Start by opening any bathroom or kitchen cabinets that have pipes underneath. This will allow the heated air from your HVAC system to get into the cabinet and help keep the nearby plumbing warm enough to prevent freezing. You could also try turning on multiple faucets, just a bit, throughout the house once the temperature really drops, as this will keep water flowing through the pipes, and that will make it more difficult for things to freeze over