Fall is rapidly closing in on us. Have you prepared your home’s plumbing for the winter weather ahead?
Here are some tips from Jay’s Plumbing and Sewer, in Downers Grove, Illinois, that can help keep your plumbing in good working order in those freezing winter temperatures and maybe save you some money on repairs.
- Make sure hose reels are disconnected from outside hose faucets, advises Jay’s Service Manager Mike Krejci. Leaving them connected could cause breakage of the fixture from freezing water. “Make it part of your fall cleanup before a freeze or even a frost,” says Krejci.
- Clean out leaves and other debris that gather in window wells so their drains are prepared to take water. Gutters can be a part of that, so make sure falling leaves don’t fill them up. Freezing can cause ice damming on the roof if gutters are clogged and not draining properly, “The ice damming will freeze underneath your shingles and it could actually start raining inside the house and cause issues in your attic,” says Krejci. Leaf removal should be conducted throughout the fall until all leaves have fallen from the trees.
- Replace any discharge lines made of smaller, black flexible tubing with larger pipe. “Smaller ones can freeze, causing flooding,” says Krejci. “It either needs to be rerouted underground or replaced with solid plastic, not corrugated, pipe, which has channels that hold freezing water that will dam up and plug up completely with ice.” A smoother, plastic pipe is pipe is preferable. “The corrugated pipe has little channels that hold the water. In cold, freezing weather it will block up like a big ice cube in it,” says Krejci. “If it’s three-, four- or six-inch pipe you don’t have to bury it very deep, as long as it’s pitched and doesn’t hold water and discharges into daylight or into a French drain, a small hole filled with gravel that water can collect and dissipate into the ground, which is going to be deeper than the pipe.