Winter is right around the corner, which means that now is a good time to maintain your plumbing system to ensure it functions properly throughout the colder months. Maintaining your plumbing system is important for preventing issues like leaks, clogs, sewage backups, and water damage. Today, we’re going to show you a few simple steps you should take this fall that will ensure your plumbing is ready for winter.
Have Your Sewer Line Inspected
Sewer issues like clogs and backups occur more commonly during the holidays than at any other time of the year. If you plan on having company at Thanksgiving or any time over the holidays, the last thing you want is for your sewer line to clog and your plumbing system to be unusable. Any time your sewer line clogs, there is a high chance that sewage will start backing up in your home when you flush a toilet, wash dishes, shower, etc.
The best way to prevent clogs and backups is to have your sewer line inspected and cleaned. A sewer line inspection is performed by using a special camera to check for issues like tree roots, clogs, or cracks in the pipe. If tree roots are present in the pipe or it has lots of fat and grease stuck inside it, you’ll definitely want to have the sewer line hydro jetted or rooted. If not, there is a major risk that your sewer line will clog up when you have lots of people at your house and your plumbing system gets more use than normal.
It’s always a good idea to schedule the sewer line inspection far in advance of the holidays. This way you will still have plenty of time to get it repaired or replaced if the pipe is in poor condition or damaged and leaking. Repairing or replacing your sewer line will also ensure you don’t end up having to deal with sewage flooding your yard. It can also protect your home as a leaky sewer line can damage your foundation or cause your home to start sinking.
Check for Plumbing Leaks
When maintaining your plumbing system, it’s also a good idea to check and make sure there are no plumbing leaks in or outside your home. The easiest way to do this is by using your water meter. You should first make sure that all plumbing fixtures are shut off. If there is no water running, the dial on the water meter shouldn’t spin.
If it does keep spinning or the numbers on the meter continue to increase, you’ll want to schedule a leak detection service and have a plumber find and repair the leak. This is something you should do immediately to lessen the chances of severe water damage or mold issues.
Drain and Flush Your Water Heater
Fall is also a good time to have your water heater inspected, serviced, and flushed. Water heaters have to work a bit harder in the winter since the water coming into your home is colder. Having your water heater inspected and serviced will help to ensure it heats effectively and lessen the risk of it breaking down or starting to leak. Servicing a water heater is also for the unit’s lifespan as all water heaters will typically last longer when properly maintained.
Having a tank water heater drained and flushed is especially important for ensuring it continues heating effectively. Flushing is necessary to remove the sediment that naturally forms inside a water heater when it’s running. Sediment occurs because some of the minerals in the water precipitate as the water is heated, which means that they harden and are no longer suspended in the water. Most homes in the Anaheim area have fairly hard water, which means there are more minerals present leading to more sediment forming.
If you don’t have your water heater flushed at least yearly, the sediment will quickly lead to the unit not heating as quickly or as effectively. Sediment build-up will cause your water heater to use more energy. If you have an electric unit, sediment can also cause the heating elements to wear out more quickly. Sediment can also increase the chances of the tank eventually leaking. This happens because the sediment absorbs lots of heat, which can create hot spots that will slowly weaken the tank and make it corrode more quickly.
Test Your Sump Pump
Winter tends to be the time when our area receives the most rainfall so it’s a good idea to have your sump pump checked out to make sure it is pumping effectively before the winter rains arrive. A sump pump is important for preventing your home from possibly flooding after heavy rains. The sump basin works to capture any water that seeps through the foundation into the home, and the sump pump then works to move all of this water out and away from the home.
Testing a sump pump is a fairly simple task that you should be able to easily do on your own. All it takes is to use a bucket or a hose and fill up the sump basin with enough water that the float switch on the pump triggers and the pump turns on. You also want to make sure that the pump works effectively. As soon as the float switch triggers and the pump starts running, it should only take 15 seconds at the most for it to pump all of the water out and empty the basin. If the pump doesn’t turn on, makes excessive noise, or isn’t pumping effectively, you should have a plumber inspect it as these issues indicate that it may need to be repaired or replaced.
If your sump pump is around 10 years old or you haven’t had it inspected and serviced within the past few years, it’s a good idea to have a plumber inspect and test it for you. This way there will be a lower chance of the unit malfunctioning or giving out when you need it most. However, we highly recommend enlisting the services of a trained plumber for these tasks. Their expertise enables them to identify subtle details that may indicate the need for repairs or replacements.
Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips From Splash Plumbing
Splash Plumbing is a full-service plumbing company specializing in residential and commercial plumbing maintenance, repairs, and installation, and we serve customers in Anaheim, CA, and throughout the surrounding areas.
We offer professional leak detection, sump pump, and water heater services, and our team is ready to help with all of your fall plumbing maintenance needs. We can also help with sewer line inspections and repairs or if you need to have your sewer line replaced.
Our doors have been open since 1998 and our company adage has developed into, “Large enough to serve, small enough to care”. For more information on the importance of plumbing maintenance or to schedule an inspection or service appointment, give us a call today.