With freezing temperatures just around the corner in the Chicagoland area, there are a few important fall plumbing maintenance tasks homeowners should perform to avoid wasting water and prevent damage from frozen pipe and water leaks.
Prevent Frozen PipesTo prevent pipes from freezing it's important to ensure that pipes near exterior walls are protected from the cold. Seal cracks around the foundation and exterior walls. For sinks near exterior walls, make sure there is good air circulation inside the home to allow warm air to reach pipes.
If you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, shut off the main water valve and open all faucets to drain water from the plumbing system. Make sure the thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees.
Flush the Water HeaterCold weather puts extra demands on your water heater. To help it work as efficiently as possible and prolong its lifespan, flush the water heater to remove sediment build up. Check your owner's manual for the instructions to maintain your water heater. Have a tankless water heater? Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the line filter. If you need help maintaining your water heater, call Rapid Response Plumbing, Heating & Air for service.
Repair Leaks Seemingly minor water leaks from shower heads and faucets are more than just an annoyance, they can add up costing significantly more money over the course of the year on your utility bill. Replacing worn out faucet washers is simple and inexpensive.
Clean Slow DrainsLeft unchecked, eventually a slow sink, shower or tub drain is going to clog, leading to an obstruction that will require professional help to clear. Use strainers in sinks to prevent debris from accumulating inside drains. Natural drain cleaners like Bio-Clean are a natural and safe way to keep your kitchen and bathroom drains clean.
Clean Faucet Aerators and Shower HeadsIf you're experiencing low water pressure the culprit may be mineral deposits that have built up in the fixture, reducing water flow. Remove aerators and soak them overnight in vinegar to remove mineral build up.
Have Your Sewer Line InspectedOne of the most costly and disruptive plumbing problems a homeowner can experience is a backed up sewer main. Rapid Response can perform a video sewer line inspection to find any potential problems, including cracks, misaligned pipes, and tree root intrusion that can lead to sewer line failure.
Check Your Sump PumpDuring the winter months heavy snow followed by miler weather can lead to water intrusion into your home. Test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on and remove the water. If it fails to turn on, check the power supply. If the power supply works and the pump doesn't operate, call Rapid Response Plumbing, Heating & Air, to inspect the pump.
Fix Running ToiletsA running toilet can waste a lot of water. Replacing the flapper is inexpensive and simple to do.
On the outside of the house check hose bibs for leaks and have them fixed before winter arrives. Also, remember to remove and store hoses to prevent damage to outdoor faucets.