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The Importance of Seasonal Plumbing Maintenance

The change of seasons can put extra stress on your home’s plumbing system. With the shift from winter to summer or summer to winter, extremes in weather can expose problems that have been brewing under the surface. That’s why it’s crucial to schedule seasonal plumbing maintenance checks with a professional.

In the sweltering summer heat, you rely on plumbing and appliances like air conditioning units, sprinklers, and irrigation systems more than ever. It’s important to check for leaks, blockages, and other issues that could disrupt cooling or watering during the hotter months.

Pre-season inspections allow plumbers to catch small problems before they turn into big headaches in peak season.

Preparing your plumbing for winter is just as vital.

Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst and appliances like heaters to falter if they haven’t been serviced. Ice dams and leaves in gutters can also lead to flooding or water damage issues. Ahead of the winter chill, plumbers can insulate pipes, check your water heater’s functionality, and clear outdoor drains to avoid expensive emergency repairs.

Scheduling seasonal maintenance checks is a proactive way to optimise your plumbing efficiency and lifespan year-round. Detecting and fixing minor problems early prevents major failures down the line.

It also ensures your plumbing is prepped to run smoothly when you need it most, whether it’s the dog days of summer or the dead of winter.

Summer Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Summer’s heat puts extra demand on plumbing, so seasonal maintenance helps avoid breakdowns.

Start by inspecting the air conditioning system. Start by inspecting the air conditioning system. Check refrigerant levels and clear debris from outdoor units. Faulty AC strains pipes and can cause leaks.

Examine pipes and supply lines for signs of wear like rust and cracks. Outdoors, check irrigation, sprinklers, and pool equipment for damaged parts or clogs that restrict water flow.

Tiny leaks often grow larger in summer. Repairing them now prevents issues later.

Drier conditions in summer can cause drain and sewer lines to clog more easily. Flush drains monthly to keep them clear and pour water down lesser-used drains. Tree roots are also more invasive in dry soil and can infiltrate and block pipes.

Map out an emergency plan that includes an emergency plumber’s contact details. Share it with your household to avoid panic if a plumbing issue arises amidst the summer heat.

Inspect Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems take a beating during the hot, dry months of summer. That’s why it’s vital to inspect them before the season starts. Test that sprinklers and drip lines have adequate water pressure and no leaks. Clear any clogged nozzles or emitters so water flows freely.

Examine valves to ensure they open and close properly. Replace broken sprinkler heads and tighten loose fittings.

Also check the integrity of pipes and supply lines feeding the irrigation system. Use flow metres to test for pressure drops that indicate unseen leaks. Use flow metres to test for pressure drops that indicate unseen leaks.

Seal cracks and replace old, brittle pipes to prevent ruptures when the system pressurises.

Consult your system’s manual for the optimal water pressure range and make adjustments as needed. Finally, programme timers and controllers to provide enough irrigation without overwatering. Proper summer preparation makes your system more efficient and helps avoid damage to thirsty plants.

Replace AC Filters

Replacing air conditioner filters is one of the most important summer maintenance tasks. Clogged filters reduce airflow, strain the AC system, and hike your energy bills. Experts recommend replacing filters every 1-3 months during peak usage season.

Check your filter monthly to see if it needs changing sooner. Very dirty filters should be swapped out right away. Make note of your AC unit’s filter size and keep extras on hand so you can replace them on schedule.

Start by turning off the AC power.

Slide out the old filter, making sure not to dislodge dust and dirt inside the unit. Insert the new filter in the correct direction of airflow indicated on the side. Insert the new filter in the correct direction of airflow indicated on the side.

Beyond keeping your AC running efficiently, clean filters improve indoor air quality. They catch dust, pollen, pet dander and other particles the system pulls from the air. Following a regular filter replacement routine helps provide cleaner, healthier air inside your home.

Winter Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Winter’s frigid temperatures make plumbing maintenance essential. Winter’s frigid temperatures make plumbing maintenance essential.

Use pipe sleeves or heat tape to prevent freezing in cold snaps. Use pipe sleeves or heat tape to prevent freezing in cold snaps.

Have your water heater serviced to maximise efficiency ahead of increased demand. Flush out sediment so it operates at full capacity. Ensure ventilation is clear and the pilot light is working properly.

Check for leaks or corrosion.

Examine your home’s main water shut-off valve to ensure it fully closes. This prepares you to quickly stop water flow if pipes freeze or burst. Also locate drain valves near hot water tanks in case of leaks.

Keep gutters clean. Debris traps moisture against the roof, causing ice dams that can penetrate beneath shingles. When gutters overflow, icicles form and water pools near your home’s foundation.

Taking these preventative winter maintenance steps keeps plumbing and appliances functioning properly in harsh weather. It also reduces the risk of pipe bursts and water damage during winter’s coldest stretches.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can cause expensive plumbing emergencies, but there are steps you can take to help prevent them.

Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, attics, and garages. Use pipe sleeves or insulating foam to protect water lines from freezing air. You can also wrap pipes with heat tape set to a thermostat to maintain a temperature above freezing.

Seal any leaks or gaps around pipes that allow cold air inside. Look for drafts by plumbing vents, where pipes enter walls, and foundations. Caulk or foam these openings.

Let faucets drip during sub-freezing weather to keep water moving in pipes. This prevents it from freezing in place. Also open cabinet doors below sinks overnight so warmer room air can circulate.

Disconnect and drain outdoor pipes and hoses when temperatures drop. Shut off and drain irrigation systems and spigots. Insulate exterior faucets or install frost-proof models.

Know how to shut off your home’s main water valve in case a pipe does freeze. But avoid actually shutting it off unless there is a burst pipe or other emergency.

Insulate Pipes and Tanks

Insulating your plumbing system is one of the most effective ways to prevent pipes and tanks from freezing in winter. Properly insulating pipes provides a protective barrier that retains heat and prevents cold air from penetrating.

Start by insulating exposed hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas. Use pre-slit foam tubing or fibreglass insulation with a minimum R-value of R-3. Secure the insulation with tape and make sure all pipe joints and elbows are fully covered.

Water heaters and well pressure tanks located in unconditioned spaces should also be insulated. Choose insulation blankets or wraps suited for the shape of the tank. Follow manufacturer instructions to securely install insulation with uniform coverage.

Insulation slows heat transfer and helps maintain water temperature as it moves through the plumbing system. This reduces energy costs while keeping pipes and tanks protected from freezing, even during cold snaps. Taking time to properly insulate before winter arrives can prevent costly plumbing emergencies and property damage.

Inspect Your Water Heater

Your water heater is a crucial but often overlooked part of your plumbing system. Your water heater is a crucial but often overlooked part of your plumbing system.

Before cold winter temperatures arrive, take time to inspect this appliance. This allows proper airflow for gas models and maintains efficiency.

Test the water temperature coming out of your taps. If it’s lower, there may be sediment buildup inside the tank limiting its performance.

Your heater should output 49°C. Draining the tank helps clear such deposits.

Also check the pressure relief valve and piping to ensure there are no obstructions that could make the tank unsafe. Look for any corrosion or leaks, especially around fittings and pipe connections. Even minor leaks should be repaired now before expanding.

Replacing old, inefficient models with new energy-efficient heaters can further optimise winter performance. And remember to keep the tank area uncluttered so technicians can safely service it.

Taking time for a pre-winter water heater inspection maximises efficiency and safety during increased usage. Preventative maintenance now spares you from disruptive breakdowns and expensive repairs later on.

Year-Round Maintenance Tips

Beyond seasonal maintenance, there are several plumbing tasks that should be performed year-round:

  • Inspect visible pipes and joints for leaks, corrosion and proper fittings. Repair any issues promptly.
  • Test pressure relief and shut-off valves to ensure they are fully functional.
  • Flush drains regularly with water to clear sediment and buildup.
  • Pour water down lesser used sinks to keep P-traps full.
  • Clean sink aerators and showerheads to maintain proper water pressure.
  • Check for soft spots in floors that may indicate an unseen leak.
  • Listen for running toilets that waste water and increase bills.
  • Clear debris from outdoor drains and gutters to prevent flooding.

Making these inspections part of your regular routine helps spot plumbing problems before they worsen. It also ensures your plumbing operates safely and efficiently year-round.

Clear Gutters and Drains

Clogged gutters and drains are common plumbing issues that can worsen over time.

During regular maintenance, make sure to check and clear gutter debris. During regular maintenance, make sure to check and clear gutter debris. During regular maintenance, make sure to check and clear gutter debris.

Also pour water down floor drains and shower drains to keep them clear and maintain trap seals. Consider using an enzyme drain cleaner monthly to break down organic buildup. For stubborn sink clogs, use a zip-it drain cleaning tool or plunger.

Downspouts and exterior drainage grates should be kept free of leaves and dirt as well. Proper drainage prevents flooding and moisture damage to your home’s structure and foundation.

Check Pressure Valves

Pressure valves play a crucial role in regulating the flow of water through your plumbing system. During routine maintenance checks, take time to inspect these valves.

Test the pressure relief valve on your hot water system by pulling up on the lever. Water should flow out to relieve excess pressure in the tank. Make sure the valve reseats properly when you release the lever.

For whole house water pressure regulators, turn on several fixtures and check that the valve maintains pressure between 45-60 PSI. If the pressure drops too low, the valve may need adjusting or replacing.

Outdoor hose bibs and irrigation systems have pressure regulating valves too. Turn them on and check for smooth operation. The valve should open fully and close tightly with no dripping or leaking.

Malfunctioning pressure valves affect water flow and increase strain on pipes. Taking time to check valve functionality helps avoid damage further along the plumbing system.

Inspect All Hoses and Fixtures

Regularly inspecting all hoses and fixtures helps detect leaks and other issues before they cause major plumbing headaches. Go around your home checking both interior and exterior hoses and fixtures for problems.

Examine garden hoses for cracked or brittle rubber, looking closely at the hose fittings. Worn gaskets result in leaks when the hose is pressurised. Also check indoor sink sprayers and under-sink supply lines.

Turn on all faucets and showerheads then look carefully for drips. Dripping faucets waste water and signal worn washers or valves. Dripping faucets waste water and signal worn washers or valves.

Test toilets for smooth operation when flushing.

Keep an eye out for corrosion, mineral deposits, and green staining that may indicate small leaks. Catching minor leaks now prevents more extensive repairs down the road.

Inspecting all water fixtures ensures every component of your plumbing system remains in top working condition. It’s a simple task that provides peace of mind and helps avoid major issues.

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