DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

Plumbing Fixtures To Check Before Flying South For The Winter

Posted by Warner Service on Oct 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM


Did you know that a burst pipe could cost up to $50,000 in damages to your home? According to CostHelper, “Water damage is often the biggest cost associated with a burst pipe, especially if the flooding continues for any length of time.”

Do you want to avoid the costs and frustration that comes with unexpected plumbing emergencies? Want to stay one step ahead of failing equipment and appliances?

Prevent Costly Repairs In The Future

Conduct a visual inspection of the drainage system and hoses at least once or twice a year, and pay attention to aging appliances, including washing machines, water-based HVAC equipment, and hot water heaters. Replace any appliance that's more than 10 to 15 years old. A small investment in new, more efficient equipment saves you money, stress, and energy costs.

Avoid Plumbing Emergencies 

Most homeowners know that frozen pipes and leaks lead to costly plumbing repairs, but plumbing emergencies can occur at any time and may or may not be caused by the cold weather outside.

Understand that water cause lots of plumbing problems, and install a leak detection or water monitoring system. Also, shut off the hot water heater and washing machine if you notice something is off.

Go Through The Vacation Checklist

Any time you leave home for more than a few days during the colder months, go through the following Warner Service checklist:

  1. Turn off the water. Avoid a plumbing emergency by turning off the individual water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. Your home’s water system is under extremely high pressure, and an entire home is often flooded in a matter of a few hours.

  2. Flush the pipes to the lowest level in the drainage system if you live in an especially cold area. Contact a plumbing professional to consider antifreeze for toilets and drains to prevent freezing and pipes bursting. This simple step keeps the drains working properly.

  3. Drain the sprinkler system. Unless an automatic sprinkler waters the yard while you’re on vacation, drain the sprinkler system and shut it off completely. Even a small drip or leak adds up to a big water bill.

  4. Check the gutters. Gutters drain rainwater and snow off the roof to at least six feet away from the foundation. Ensure that it handles the rain and snow while you’re away by removing debris, leaves, and sticks in the inlet. Reattach downspout extensions to avoid a flooded foundation.

  5. Do regular landscaping and tree trimming. If your home is surrounded by mature trees and shrubs, established root systems and overhanging limbs potentially cause several plumbing problems. Roots often grow into sewer lines, shrubs grow too close to foundations, and overhanging limbs rub against exterior walls, foundations, and roofs

    Most landscapers recommend keeping shrubbery and limbs at least 18 inches away from walls and foundations. Take the time now to check for all these issues and save yourself headaches in the future.

  6. Test the sump pump. A sump pump is the best way to prevent basement flooding if the gutters fail. Test the sump pump by dumping water into the sump pit to raise the water level. If the sump pump ejects the water properly, the basement is safe.

    If it doesn't eject water properly, check the electrical connections and/or schedule a professional maintenance check before you leave.

  7. Drain and empty the dishwasher and washing machine. Draining these appliances prevents mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors when you return home.

  8. Ask someone to check on your home. Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your home if you're away for a week or more. It gives you peace of mind knowing they can contact a local plumber like Warner Service in case of a plumbing emergency.

  9. Adjust the water heater. To keep the energy bill low while you’re away, set the hot water heater to the lowest setting possible, and completely shut it off to prevent flooding.

  10. Take care of the drains. From the kitchen to the bathroom, use an eco-friendly drainage product to combat unpleasant odors and bacteria build-up while you’re on vacation. A clogged drain coupled with a burst pipe also adds to flooding problems.

  11. Keep it dry. Check every appliance for dampness and corrosion. If you spot something, contact a plumbing professional before you leave for vacation.

  12. Run the pool pump. Turning off the pool pump prevents algae build-up. If you're gone for more than a few days, keep the pool pump on at optimal setting to make sure it’s operating properly while you’re away.

To print this list and for more plumbing tips, download Warner Service's Plumbing Troubleshooting Checklist:

Download the Plumbing Troubleshooting Checklist

Topics: Maintenance, Plumbing, Do-It-Yourself