As astonishing as it may seem, some 1.6 million Americans live in “water poverty” – that is, they do not have reliable access to clean water for drinking, bathing, or cooking. Thinking about those who live in rural areas and have to haul water by the bucketful to their home each and every day, just to perform basic household tasks and to have something to drink, should make you grateful for indoor plumbing and clean water.
Yet plumbing systems don’t come without their problems. A minor drip might not seem like anything to worry about, but it wastes water and money. More extensive issues like clogs and leaks can wreak havoc with your entire house if not caught and fixed in a timely fashion.
To that end, it makes sense to conduct regular plumbing maintenance. Here are 5 plumbing tasks you should perform each fall.
4 Plumbing Tasks to Perform in the Fall
As the lazy, hazy days of summer come to close, it’s a good idea to give your entire system a once-over to ensure a plumbing problem-free fall. Here are the top five steps for ensuring your water system is in tip-top shape!
1. Outdoor Plumbing Maintenance
Take advantage of a warm, sunny day in early fall to clean out your gutters and put away your garden hoses. While you’re at it, check the hoses and the outdoor spigots for leaks. If you let a faulty spigot fester over the winter, it will mean big problems in the spring.
2. Make Sure the Pipes are Properly Insulated
Freezing water pipes can spell certain disaster, so be proactive before the mercury starts to drop. Particularly if you’ve recently moved into your current home, make sure there is insulation or heat tape around all exposed piping. Thermostat-controlled heat cables are another option.
To prepare yourself in case a pipe bursts anyway, keep the number of a 24-hour plumbing service in your smartphone.
3. Check the Water Heater
The traditional tank variety water heater only lasts between eight and 12 years, on average. Tankless styles have a life expectancy about double that.
Either way, you should make sure that yours is running just fine, without leaks or any unusual noises. Some signs that you need to call in the pros, and start thinking about a water heater replacement, include:
- A clanking, banging or rumbling noise
- Discolored water – usually red or dark yellow
- Less hot water, or water that takes longer to heat up
- Pooled water near the heater’s base
4. Inspect the Sump Pump and Sewer
Keeping the basement clean and dry is vital, so inspect the sump pump and make any necessary repairs. It should go without saying that problems with the sewer need to be addressed ASAP. Most folks choose to leave these unsavory tasks to the pros.
Is Your Plumbing Ready for Fall?
Although the dog days of summer are still in full swing, before you know it the leaves will be falling and the air will be crisp and cool. Before you get too busy drinking pumpkin spice lattes and picking pumpkins, take the time to perform basic plumbing maintenance. It could save you time, hassle, and a whole lot of money!
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