Fall Plumbing Tips – The weather is cooling off, the kids are back to school, and many folks are getting ready for the winter. Is your plumbing ready?Autumn temperatures in the Greater Toronto Area can vary widely, so the best bet in terms of preparing your plumbing and getting your water systems in good working shape for Autumn is to plan for the next few months to be on the cold side of normal. Here are a few things you can do this season:
- Outside hoses and faucets. By now, you’re probably done with watering your gardens and lawn for 2014. So don’t forget to disconnect your hose(s), and ensure that your faucets are switched off. If you’ve got shutoff valves which lead to the outdoor faucet, be sure to close them and drain them for the season. It’s a little bit of work that’s a lot better than dealing with burst or cracked pipes during the coldest months of the year.
- Invest in an insulated outdoor faucet cover to minimize the risk of freezing.
- Take an afternoon to clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris. You’ll probably have snow melting in to them before long, and freezing and thawing ice. You want to ensure that they’re clear so that they will drain easily.
- Adjust your water heater thermostat to the range of 120 degrees Farenheit. Many are set in the 140 degree range by default, which is unnecessarily hot.
- Go ahead and turn off the main water supply for the home before you leave.
- Ensure the heating system remains running, even at a low setting, to reduce the chance of any pipes freezing.
- Do a quick inspection to ensure that no cracks or holes have formed in windows/openings near where your pipes are running. If there are, make sure you fill them before departing as it only takes a small crack to let lots of cold air in.