Fall is a time of cool, crisp weather, cozy evenings and colorful leaves, and if you own your home, it's also a time for fall chores that can help your home stay snug and protected throughout the cold months of a Pittsburgh winter. Taking some time to complete a few simple plumbing-related chores now can wind up saving you plenty of money (and headaches) and provide you with added peace of mind.
Your To-Do List:
- Disconnect your garden hoses and drain them. Water that's trapped inside your hoses can freeze and expand, creating huge gaps and tears in hoses. After disconnecting hoses from the outside faucets, make sure all water is out of the hoses before coiling them up and storing them in a shed, garage or basement.
- Turn off your exterior faucets and cover the bibs with insulating sleeves. Replace any leaky faucets with frost-proof bibs now to ensure no water enters the bib or pipes where it can freeze and cause breakage. If your home has interior shutoff valves for outside lines, close the valves now as well.
- Insulate water pipes in unheated areas. Water damage from frozen and burst pipes is one of the top causes of homeowner insurance claims. Pipe insulation is a low-cost way to protect pipes traveling through unheated crawlspaces and basements. Plus, insulating your pipes keeps hot water from cooling off as it travels through these areas so you can enjoy lower energy costs as well.
- Make sure your sump pump is working. Heavy rains are common for most of the fall and even into the winter months. Make sure your sump pump is up to the task of keeping water out of your basement by having it evaluated and serviced as needed.
- Have your water heater inspected, drained and serviced. Most water heaters are in unheated spaces, which means they need to work harder during the winter months to keep water hot. Having your water heater serviced makes sure it's in top working order, and periodic flushes to clean out sediment can help keep your energy costs low. Consider wrapping the tank with a water heater blanket to reduce your energy costs even further. The U.S. Department of Energy has step-by-step instructions here.
Schedule a fall service visit today.
At Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we help homeowners and businesses throughout the Pittsburgh area avoid plumbing problems with routine maintenance and service calls aimed at keeping your pipes and your home in top shape. To schedule a maintenance visit for your water heater, sump pump or boiler, call Stahl today at (412)273-1000. We provide 24/7 emergency service too.