Cooler weather is on the way here in New Jersey, and it’s time to begin thinking about the essential tasks of preparing your home for fall and winter. Perhaps the most important set of tasks on your list should involve your home’s plumbing system. If neglected, the sub-freezing temperatures the area can experience during the cold months ahead can wreak havoc on your system – and cost you a significant amount of money to repair.
To help you prepare, Mr. Rooter of Bergen County has assembled this list of essential fall plumbing tasks, including:
- Flushing the water heater. Over time, your water heater builds up sediment that can decrease its efficiency and shorten its lifespan. Flushing the water heater on a yearly basis helps to slow sediment buildup and ensures its long life. Simply connect a hose to the spigot on your water heater and allow approximately five gallons to drain into the nearby floor drain. In addition, take the opportunity to test the pressure relief valve for proper functioning.
- Performing sump pump maintenance. If your home has a sump pump, fall is the perfect time to engage in annual maintenance. Inspect the sump pump, surrounding area, and pit, and check for optimal functioning. Then, drain standing water with a shop vac, rinse, and remove any caked on sludge.
- Disconnecting exterior hoses. Before a potential freeze, it is essential to drain standing water from any hoses and disconnect them from the faucet. If neglected, the frozen water can back up into connecting pipes and cause cracks or bursting. At the same time, check for drips and leaks on each of your exterior faucets.
- Insulating unheated pipes. Any pipes in unheated spaces like garages, crawl spaces, and even attics are more susceptible to freezing than those in the rest of your home. Frozen pipes can burst or crack, causing leaks that will flood your home in the spring. Purchase pipe insulation kits at your local hardware store to address pipes in these areas.
Proper maintenance now can help you avoid more serious issues once the truly cold weather sets in and can also help prevent flooding and other plumbing problems in the spring. For more information about preventive measures for your home, or to schedule an inspection, contact Mr. Rooter of Bergen County today.