You probably already know how dangerous winter can be for your plumbing.
During the coldest months of the year, we hear horror stories about cold snaps wreaking havoc on frozen pipes, not to mention the dreaded flooded basements.
But the truth is, every season of the year presents its own challenges. Even if you have an idea of the best plumbing tips to follow, there are certain things you should do in specific seasons to keep your plumbing up to speed.
Fortunately, making sure your plumbing is properly maintained all year helps increase its lifespan. Plus, a longer-lasting system saves more money in the long run!
If you want to avoid spending money on plumbing disasters, we’ve got some simple seasonal plumbing tips to get you started.
Simple Plumbing Tips for Every Season
Spring is usually when we start worrying about making our gardens beautiful again, but it’s also a good time for some general plumbing best practices. Your springtime plumbing to-do list should include checking for any lingering damage from the winter months and preparing your pipes for frequent summer use.
Check Your Pipes for Leaks
Winter’s cold can affect your plumbing, but it might be hard to notice right away. The warm springtime weather is a better time to check it.
Start outside. The first time you re-connect your hose to your outdoor spigot, it’s a good idea to make sure the cold winter hasn’t damaged your hose bibb.
Turn the water on, checking for leaks as you do. If water comes from your wall, the hose bibb may be damaged and need replacing.
Next, look over your pipes inside and outside of the rest of your house, including toilets, faucets, and spigots. Check for any signs of rust, corrosion, leaking, breaks, bends, and dents. You should also be wary of lingering moisture inside your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Check Your Sprinkler System
As you put your sprinkler system to good use, it’s important to be sure it’s working correctly. Check for any system issues, including obstructions and blockages that have clogged the system, as a clog in one area can cause pipes to burst in another. Keeping your sprinklers running as efficiently as possible is an excellent way to save water—and money.
We tend to use more water in the summer months, washing ourselves (and our clothes) more frequently to keep up with the heat. To keep that water running, here are a few easy plumbing tips for the summer months.
Turn Your Water Heater Down During Vacation
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a common thing to forget during the rush to prepare and pack for a summer trip. Turning your water heater down can save a good amount of energy (and money) while you’re not using it. We don’t recommend turning it off completely, but you should lower the temperature to stop it from heating up so often.
Check Your Sewer System
Summer in Georgia means heavy rains and thunderstorms, plus the ever-present threat of hurricane season. Because sewers can collect excessive rain and back up when a storm hits, it’s a good idea to have yours checked and serviced before there are any issues.
The fall should have you repairing any plumbing issues from the hottest months while preparing for the colder months to come. These are the plumbing tips you should add to your list:
Check Your Insulation
In general, your pipes should be insulated to prevent heat loss. The U.S. Department of Energy has some helpful guidelines if you haven’t yet done this in your home.
In preparation for winter, make sure to check your pipe insulation in any unheated areas like garages, basements, or crawl spaces. You may want to replace older, less effective insulation or add some to colder areas.
While you’re here, also seal any air leaks to protect your pipes from the cold (and to save more on heating and cooling costs in general!).
Flush Your Water Heater
Your water heater will need to work hard in the winter months, so get it ready now. Flushing your heater removes any sediment buildups, which can make it harder for your unit to heat water.
Cold temperatures carry the risk of frozen pipes, though it’s fortunately not so bad here in Georgia as it is in other places. Make sure your plumbing is going strong all season with these winter plumbing tips.
Take Precautions Against Freezing Pipes
When those cold snaps come, make sure you let the water trickle through your pipes. This action, along with a few other best practices, prevents them from freezing. Even a trickle is enough to help.
Be Careful With Your Holiday Cooking
Caring for your sink drain is one of those kitchen plumbing tips you’ll hear often, but it’s crucial to remember during the busy holiday season. Putting grease and oils down your kitchen drain can clog your sink, and rice can block the drain as well. Be careful what you send down the drain!
Check for Damage Regularly
Though you’ve already winterized your pipes and checked the insulation, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of damage. Every now and then, check any unheated areas to be sure there’s no frost developing on your pipes.
Don’t Set Your Water Heater Too High
This plumbing tip is good throughout the year, but it’s most relevant during the winter months: your water heater never needs to go above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting your water heater too high can waste energy and money in the long run.
Add These Plumbing Tips to Your Checklist
As you read through this list, don’t forget that these seasonal indoor and outdoor plumbing tips don’t replace the best practices you should be taking care of all year. Be sure to add them to your checklist!
As always, the best plumbing tip is to keep your plumber’s contact info at the ready! The last thing you want to do is scramble to find a good plumber if an issue crops up anytime during the year.