It's always a bit sad when summer comes to an end and the first signs of chillier fall weather come rolling in. But fall does give you the chance to prepare for the coming winter! Before the snow starts flying, make sure you tackle these essential plumbing tasks!
Make sure your pipes are insulated.
If you're in a new place and have not yet gone through a winter there, make sure you check to ensure the pipes are insulated. Go into the basement and ensure there's a layer of insulation around any pipes you can see. If you see any bare pipes, purchase some foam insulation from a home improvement store and put it on the pipes. All you need to do is pop it on (it's usually slit down one side) and then secure it with a few strips of tape. Proper insulation will help ensure your pipes don't freeze and burst during a cold spell.
Drain the sprinkler system.
If you have a sprinkler system for your lawn, make sure you drain it before winter hits. Otherwise, any water left in it may freeze and expand, causing either the pipes or the sprinkler heads to break. In most setups, draining the sprinkler system is easy. Just turn the water supply off, and turn the system power on. Any remaining water should be ejected from the sprinklers. Some systems have a separate drain tap that you turn on to let water out.
Locate your water main.
If you don't yet know where the water main is in your home, now is the time to locate it. Even with precautions taken, there's a chance of a frozen, burst pipe – and you'll need to be able to turn the water off quickly to prevent flooding. Once you locate the water main, make sure you can turn the knob easily. If you can't, apply some lubricant to the knob and turn it a few times until it becomes easier.
Protect your hose bib.
The hose bib, which is the tap to which you connect your garden hose, is susceptible to damage if water freezes inside of it. Unhook the garden hose so that all water drains from the hose bib. Turn the water supply off to the hose bib, if possible, so nobody accidentally hits it and turns it on with a snow shovel or the like.
If you're struggling with any plumbing issues, now is the time to call a local plumber, such as those found at Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, and have them fixed.