Some Must-Do Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter

September 10, 2021by Precise Plumbing


So you waited too long to put those boots away, now your basement is flooded. Don’t worry! With Fall approaching, Precise Plumbing has some tips on how to keep your home Fall and Winter ready! We’ll walk you through the steps necessary to prevent a similar situation from happening next year.

1) Don’t Forget The Outside Work

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that will keep your hose performance from degrading. In most cases, you’ll need to drain the hose completely before storing it away for the season. Storing hoses in the correct position will significantly reduce stress to the fittings. Turn off water at the source, and make sure you drain the entire hose before storing it away.

*If you store your hose outside (unheated), we recommend draping it over a wide tree branch between uses to avoid damage from falling/melting ice. Protect your faucets as well. Check around the house for any exterior fixtures that may have been left open over the summer. If you see a noticeable drop in water pressure, chances are there’s an outdoor faucet still leaking.

2) Clean the Gutters

As leaves continue to fall, your gutters will need some serious TLC. It’s essential to make sure leaves are cleared out of the gutters before it gets too cold – water in your gutter can quickly freeze and create cracks in gutters, foundations, and driveways. We recommend giving the exterior of your home a light power wash before turning on the hose for a final rinse around surrounding plants and trees.

3) Snake the Sewer Line / Check your Sump Pump

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all those leaves, sticks, and other yard waste will end up somewhere – even though you planned and got rid of them from around your foundation. Some cities will require homeowners to hire a company like Precise Plumbing to come and remove any yard waste from the sewer line, but most will allow you to do this yourself – it’s just a matter of knowing when and how. There are two methods for removing yard waste from your home:

  • Snaking the Sewer Line: Using a small drill (yes, they make little power snakes), clear out anything blocking the sewer line. Check with your local city hall to determine if they allow this self-clearing, and make sure you know how to use the equipment before digging in. Routinely running a power snake through the sewer line can help prevent tree roots from entering and clogging the pipe over time.
  • Checking your Sump Pump: It’s essential to inspect the unit periodically, depending on whether or not you have a sump pump. If your home is prone to flooding or had significant rainfall this summer, make sure that the sump pump works correctly before winter hits. Because of its position in the basement, it can be easy for some homeowners to forget about their sump pump – prevent further damage to your foundation this winter by making sure it’s operational.

4) Prevent Freezing

When water freezes in a pipe, its volume expands, leading to cracks and other issues. Many homeowners will turn to heat tape or electric heat cables in their crawlspaces or basements to prevent pipes from freezing. Still, if your house is older or not properly insulated, a leaky pipe could cause further harm. As long as all exposed plumbing is well-insulated (typically in crawlspaces), heat tape and cables are considered inefficient in preventing freezing damage in most cases. If you have heat tape in place, make sure you check to ensure it hasn’t come loose – if left unattended, the cables can pose a fire risk.

5) Water Heater Maintenance

Every water heater requires periodic maintenance and inspections to ensure optimal use. For further information on this topic, we suggest you refer to our article “Signs Your Water Heater Needs Replaced.”

In addition to all of these preventative measures, make sure you have a qualified plumber come out and inspect your water heater before the coldest months hit. If your unit is more than ten years old, now is a great time to start looking for a replacement water heater!

Find out more about our maintenance, repairs, and installation services, check out our website or call us today!