Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

What To Expect During A Pre-Winter Plumbing Inspection And Maintenance Appointment

Winter freezes can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, especially if there is already an underlying problem that hasn't been detected and addressed. For example, if enough pressure builds up, a pipe may burst, which is a timely and expensive repair to make. Having a professional inspect and maintain your plumbing system right before winter is a great way to protect your home and decrease the chance that you'll have to deal with an expensive repair during the season. Here is what you can expect your plumbing technician to do when they show up to inspect and maintain your home's system:

Water Distribution

One of the most important things your plumber will inspect is the water distribution system to ensure that the wastewater and drinking water isn't being mixed together due to damage or a malfunction. They'll also inspect the wastewater piping to make sure that it's situated at the proper angles so the water is effectively drained away from the house. And to optimize pressure within your water distribution pipes, your service provider will inspect and regulate your plumbing's vent system. All the connections to your sinks, toilets, and showers should be fully inspected too.

Water Heater Adjustments

Another task your plumbing technician will complete is inspecting and adjusting your water heater. Leaks and the buildup of sediment will be checked for and addressed if problems are spotted. Both the pressure and safety valves will be adjusted to function optimally during the cold winter months. Perhaps the most essential thing they'll do is check for rust and cracks on your water heater tank, which can affect water flow and lead to serious leaks that freeze over in the winter. If rust is present, they may be able to treat it to prevent further rotting. Otherwise, they will seal the rust areas if possible or suggest a tank replacement altogether.

Exterior Pipe Attention

The exterior pipes of your plumbing system that are exposed to the elements are particularly susceptible to damage during the winter months, so you can expect your service provider to spend a lot of time inspecting and prepping them. Once the exterior pipes have been fully inspected and repaired where necessary, your plumbing contractor will likely wrap the pipes with heat tape or insulation foam. Your plumber should also remove your hoses and cap the water spigots with special insulated covers that will help keep water pressure normal throughout your home during the winter.

Sewer Line Cleanup

Your sewer lines should be inspected regularly; it's a good idea to have your service technician do it when they show up to do your winter plumbing inspection. Things like sludge, tree roots, and foreign substances can slow your plumbing system down or back it up, so if a problem can be found and solved early, you'll save yourself quite a bit of money on repairs in the long run. You can also expect the sewer caps to be secured or replaced if needed. Ask your technician for some tips about keeping the sewer clean through regular maintenance until next year's inspection to minimize wear and tear.

Sprinkler System Draining

Because your sprinkler system can freeze during the winter months, your service technician should be willing to drain the pipes in preparation for freezing weather and show you how to turn the water supply to the system off right before a freeze hits. This will help keep your sprinkler pipes or spigots from bursting and ensure proper functioning when you're ready to use it again. If your sprinkler system is set on a timer, your technician should be able to give you time setting suggestions to minimize the chance of damage if you need to use the system during the winter for any reason.

With these considerations in mind, you should find that the inspection process will go smoothly and effectively overall.