Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Autumn’s here! We love this time of year—the crisp, cool air, the changing colours, pumpkin spice everything. When fall hits, it’s an important reminder to get a few things in order with your plumbing to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the winter. Here’s your handy fall plumbing maintenance checklist:

Insulate Your Pipes

If your pipes freeze, they can burst, causing a big mess, expensive water damage, and a major headache. Make sure that you insulate any pipes that are outdoors or in unheated areas such as garages. You can slip insulated foam sleeves around them, use spray-on insulation, or wrap heat tape around them.

Winterize Your Hose Bibs

Disconnect all garden hoses and store them coiled up in a dry place such as a garage or tool shed. Turn off the water and put an insulated cover over your hose bibs to keep them safe from the elements.

Have Your Boiler or Furnace Serviced

Fall is when you should schedule your annual boiler service or furnace maintenance to avoid emergency furnace problems. This is because, if your boiler is close to breaking down, it is going to do so when the temperatures drop outside. After spending the summer not in use, the sudden strain of being used to heat your home every day is too much for a furnace or boiler that it already nearing the end of its lifespan. Make sure you have a professional inspect and service your unit every fall. Butler’s technicians can help you with any repairs, replacement, and maintenance you may need.

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Turn the Heat Down, Not Off

When you leave the house and the temperature outside is below freezing, do not turn your heat all the way off—just turn it down to a very low setting. This maintains a bit of warmth in the space and prevents pipes from freezing. Plus, your home will be a more comfortable temperature when you return, so it’s a win-win!

Shut Off Water When You’re Away

If you are going on vacation at all this winter, shut off the water before you leave. This way, if your pipes do freeze and crack while you are away, at least they won’t cause your home to flood while you’re not there to do anything about it. Before heading out on your trip, shut off your home’s water main and drain all the pipes by running your household faucets until the water stops.

Need your hot water tank serviced or any other plumbing maintenance? Trust the experts at Butler!

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A Change of Seasons

If only lighting a bunch of pumpkin spice candles were enough to prep your home for fall!  While that is a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) things to prepare when you are a homeowner. Consider this need to know information before your house transitions from hot summer days to potentially freezing temperatures.

A plumbing inspection of your home can help determine if there are problems that need to be fixed immediately. Plumbing pipes and fixtures are an essential part of your home. In order to have them functioning perfectly, it is important to inspect them and do the necessary repairs in time. Leaving plumbing issues unattended can lead to adverse effects. Things like leaks in water flow can slowly graduate to larger problems that require replacement of equipment.

None of us like to have unexpected plumbing expenses on our plate. Having a systematic plumbing inspection checklist can help you cover all your plumbing issues and fix them before they get worse.

Having said that, your local Edmonton plumbers at Butler Plumbing have provided a brief checklist to keep handy when you schedule your home plumbing inspection.

Fall Home Checklist

1) Take a look at the water heater: Make sure it’s free of corrosion and rust, and that it isn’t dripping or leaking. Consider the location of water heater. Is it convenient? If it did leak, what would be damaged? This is perhaps one of the more important inspections to make, as the strength of your water heater can determine the cost of your utilities. We check shut off and pressure relief valves, as well as the electrical and/or gas valve connections. None of us want our water heaters to break down, especially in winter. That’s why it is best that your plumber inspects your water heater for any issues, such as a dysfunctional water heating element, corrosion, temperature, tank capacity, and strength of the water heater pipes.

2) Always look at the ceilings: In a multi-level house, check the ceiling in rooms that are underneath bathrooms or laundry rooms by looking for wet spots or staining.

3) Check your flooring: Check the flooring around toilets and sinks, as well as the dishwasher and refrigerator, to make sure there is no staining or warping. Floors should feel solid with no soft spots. For toilets, typically inspect the supply line and shut off valve, the flapper and flush valve, and the ballcock. A flush test will determine if there are leaks and if anything in the tank needs to be repaired or replaced.

4) Run all the faucets (sinks, showers, and tubs). Test out both the hot and cold water in each. Make sure there’s sufficient water pressure; if pressure is low, it’s a possible sign of a bigger issue. When you turn off the faucets, check that they don’t drip. Finally, make sure all drains are working properly.

5) Always check all of the pipes: On your plumbing fixtures make sure to check all of the pipes for leaks, rot, water pressure and other issues. This inspection will help determine minor issues and fix them before they turn into severe problems.

Fall leaves, produce, and pinecones arranged around various plumbing parts.


Common Fall Plumbing Problems & How To Prevent Them

Broken Water Heater

As fall comes on, you’re probably going to be taking more long, hot showers, baths, and using more hot water in general. Not only that, but the water going into your water heater is going to start out significantly colder than it was in the summer, which means your water heater has to use more heat to get the water to the right temperature. All of this means that in the fall your water heater has to start working overtime, and that can result in water heater failure. Make sure that you’re keeping your water heater maintained by having it serviced regularly and getting it repaired whenever you notice that something is wrong to ensure that it runs smoothly, no matter how hard it has to work.

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Garbage Disposal Failure

Fall is comfort food season, not to mention the season when Thanksgiving happens, so it is the time of year when you’re likely to be cooking and baking more than usual. That means your garbage disposal is going to get a workout. For this reason, garbage disposal units are most likely to fail during the colder months. Be mindful of what you send down your disposal (remember–large food scraps go in the compost, not the disposal) and have it serviced if you notice it’s not running as well as it used to.

Frozen Pipes

When the temperature drops below zero, your pipes are in danger of freezing. Not only does that mess with your water supply, but the ice in the pipes can cause them to expand and burst, leaving you with a mess and a costly repair bill on your hands. To keep your pipes from freezing, insulate your pipes and follow these steps.

Need a little help getting your plumbing system ready for fall? Butler Plumbing, Heating & Gasfitting is here to take care of all your plumbing maintenance, repair, and replacement needs.

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Call For Help!

If you’d rather let someone else check off all the necessary boxes while you spend your energy shoveling the snow from your driveway, no problem! Butler plumbing will be happy to do a complete home inspection.

Butler Plumbing is an established plumbing company. We have the best professional plumbers in Edmonton. Get in touch with us to get a plumbing inspection done for your home.