The month of September marks the end of a scorching summer season and the beginning of cool autumn breezes. For many folks, thoughts of the fall season consist of carved pumpkins and heaps of colorful orange-yellow leaves adorning sidewalks and streets. And while we hope you enjoy this wondrous season, let’s keep in mind the importance of maintaining proper plumbing within our homes. With temperatures dropping, an ounce of awareness and prevention saves time, money, and energy, so you can spend your free time making this fall a season to remember.

Here are five of our favorite tips for proper residential plumbing:

Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clear of Waste and Sewage

Autumn would be bare without the sight of pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and festive foods decorating our homes. As such, garbage disposal use peaks during the fall season. However, not everything can be tossed down the InSinkErator!

  • Dispose of pumpkin pulp and seeds into a trash bin or compost pile, as these can be difficult to grind down and can lead to clogs.
  • Always dispose of fats and oils into a trash bin, as these can solidify under cooler temperatures and clog pipes.
  • Run warm water before and after use of garbage disposer to help keep pipes clear of sewage.
  • Routinely clean the garbage disposal to eliminate grime and debris. This simple task can be done with the use of a lemon or lime. Slice a lemon or lime into small chunks, turn on garbage disposal, and with the faucet turned on, toss in fruit chunks one at a time.

Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home

Cold temperatures can lead to problems with house plumbing, such as frozen pipes. Since water expands when frozen pipes that aren’t properly insulated can burst or crack, which can lead to extensive and expensive water damage throughout the home. Prevent frozen pipes by:

  • Insulate pipes throughout the home with pipe sleeves and wrappers.
  • Allow cold water to trickle when faucets are not in use, as moving water is less likely to freeze.
  • Maintain indoor temperatures above 55 degrees to prevent freezing.
  • Watch pipes for bulging or poor water flow, as these may be signs of frozen pipes

Pay Attention to Dripping and Leaky Faucets

Drippy or leaky faucets may be an annoyance that only bothers folks in the middle of the night. But these events may be signs of serious damage to pipes that need attention.

Avoid water damage to your home and valuables — don’t ignore those leaky faucets!

  • Know where the main water shut-off valve is located in your home.
  • Contact your local plumber and schedule a repair to avoid further damage.
  • Avoid chemical clog removers, as they can cause erosion of valuable components.

Conduct Routine Water Heater Maintenance

Provide regular attention and prolong the life of your home’s plumbing system by giving it the attention and maintenance it needs. Failing water heaters can happen at any moment, especially in older units, but will become a greater nuisance if it fails during cold weather. Avoid being caught without a water heater and take the following precautions:

  • If you’re unfamiliar with water heater maintenance, schedule an annual maintenance inspection with a licensed residential plumber.
  • Check the pilot light or electrical outlet to ensure proper functionality.

Preparing Your Home Plumbing Systems for Vacation

If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time over the winter holidays, plan accordingly to avoid plumbing-related disasters.

  • To prevent freezing pipes, adjust your thermostat to maintain a steady temperature of 55 degrees.
  • Shut off the main water valve to avoid flooding.
  • Clean out gutters and put away water hoses to prevent any sitting water from freezing and bursting open.

For more information on winterizing your home, residential plumbing or for a free quote, contact Parthenon Plumbing and HVAC for all your residential needs.

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