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How to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Fall and Winter Weather

Autumn is here! As you start preparing your home for the new season, don’t forget to check in with your plumbing system. Use this short guide to make sure everything is running smoothly!

Clean the Gutters

The leaves have started falling in Denver, which means you have to find your ladder and get to work on cleaning your gutters. Gutters are an essential part of your roofing system because they provide rainwater and melted snow with a clear path away from your home, keeping your ceiling and sides free of water damage. However, if they get clogged, as gutters often do when they’re chock full of leaves, the water will get trapped and eventually overflow. Over time, this can cause a plumbing headache, so it’s best to spend 30 – 60 minutes today cleaning your gutters than facing the consequences later on. 

Test Your Sump Pump

Although the 2020 hail season was pretty short and mild, Colorado is known for having some intense hail storms, so it’s always best to be prepared. Test the sump pump to ensure it’s functioning as intended by… 

  1. Cleaning the exterior drain pipe
  2. Turning the unit on
  3. Pouring water into the sump pit until the float rises

The sump pump should automatically start draining the water. If it does not, then you need to contact Squeaks Family Safety & Home Protection for sump pump services

Service the Water Heater

It’s a little known fact that water heaters get a bit of a workout during the winter months. Not only do we use more hot water to begin with, but the colder underground temperatures cool down the water in the water supply lines. As a result, your water heater has to work harder to heat the water to the correct temperature. 

Therefore, it is imperative to schedule tank or tankless water heater maintenance before the chill sets in. A little bit of care today goes a long way. 

Clean Your Drains

Another thing to remember about autumn is that it’s the unofficial start of the holiday season. If you plan on having guests over for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or another upcoming celebration, make sure to schedule a drain cleaning beforehand. This will help reduce the risk of impromptu plumbing emergencies, such as toilet clogs — it happens more often than you realize. 

Insulate Outdoor Pipes

It’s impossible to survive a Denver winter without a heating unit. The same goes for your plumbing system. Any pipes that live outdoors or in areas of your home that don’t receive much heat, like the basement, need to be insulated to decrease the risk of frozen pipes. Once the temperatures plummet below zero, frozen pipes are a common occurrence for local homeowners, and one of the top repair calls we get in the winter! 

Winterize Sprinkler System

Similarly, it’s important to prepare your sprinkler system for the winter by “blowing out” or draining all the water in the pipes. To do so effectively, you’ll need to first turn off the water to the sprinkler system and the backflow preventer. Connect your air compressor to the outlet drain valve and gently blow out all the remaining water. Make sure you don’t use too much air pressure, as this can ultimately damage your system. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to schedule a furnace tune-up! Although this isn’t technically a plumbing maintenance tip, we feel it is still important to provide you with a quick reminder about HVAC preparations, so you can enjoy the winter season warm and worry-free. 

With these tips and tricks in mind, you should be all set to have a fantastic autumn! Call Squeaks Family Safety & Home Protection for any services you may require, such as water heater installation or drain cleaning, in Denver and the surrounding areas.