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Plumbing Tips: Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips For Cold Weather

Fall and early winter is the best time to prepare your home’s plumbing for the coming cold temperatures ahead. As the weather begins to cool off, it would be a good idea to establish some good plumbing habits to protect your home. Here are a few things that you should do to prepare for the change in seasons: 

House basement old drain pipe for fall plumbing example.

Basement Drain Pipes Can Clog


Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Outside your House

  • Keep your gutters free from leaves and debris – if they get clogged it can create drainage problems. Rain water can overflow over the gutters and land on the ground around your house and then it is more likely to seep into your foundation, basement or crawl space.
  • Unhook outdoor hoses, drain with gravity, and store in your garage, or someplace that does not go below freezing temperatures. This will prevent your hoses from cracking. When spring arrives you won’t have to buy new ones to replace the ones that did not survive winter.
  • Get your sewer line cleaned and snaked. If you have a septic tank, now would be a good time to get your septic tank pumped. There are recommendation for how often this service is needed, and though it is a an item not often thought about, it is best to be proactive and keep the system running the way it was designed to do.

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Inside your House

  • Insulate your pipes so that they are less likely to freeze. Check for the most susceptible areas to address. A frozen pipe means no water flow. If it is accessible, you can then attempt to thaw it with applied heat – but the increased mass of the internal ice could have caused a leak and create more than just a slight inconvenience.
  • Know where your main water valve is, and how to shut it off. In the event that a pipe bursts, knowing how to shut off the water could save you thousands of dollars. Also, it is wise not to just keep this info to yourself. Give a tour of the basement to your significant other, an older child or a trusted neighbor and draw a little basement map with emergency instructions. If you are away when something bad and unexpected happens with your plumbing, you don’t want someone uninformed to enter your basement with water spraying everywhere – and not know where to immediately go to shut off the main water valve.
Hose tap outside of house as fall plumbing example.

Outside Taps Can Freeze

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Water Heaters

  • Your water heater works harder in the colder months. Flush out any sediment that has accumulated in your water heater. This will extend its lifespan and increase efficiency to save you money.
  • Test the pressure relief valve by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. This should send a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, you may need a new pressure relief valve. Be careful when doing this because the water will be very hot.
  • Set your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees F for safety and efficiency. If you have children at home or visiting, higher temperatures can cause burns just washing dirty hands.
  • Modern on-demand hot water heaters have their own service recommendations, and it is best to be familiar with your manufacturer owner’s manual.
Hot water heater in the basement as fall plumbing example.

Hot Water Heaters Need Servicing

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Kitchen Sinks

  • Once a month, pour 1 gallon of bleach down either side of your kitchen sink, wait 20 minutes, fill both sides of your kitchen sink to the rim with hot water, and then remove the stoppers simultaneously. The volume and weight of the water will help flush the drain lines free of grease, preventing a stoppage. Send all those potato peels, scrambled eggs and other food debris out of the small drainpipe so that water from your sink and dishwasher (which usually uses the same drain) flows out easily.
Kitchen sink drain as a plumbing tip example.

Kitchen Drains Get Filled With Food Debris

So that’s our list of fall & early winter plumbing tips for the residential home owner. If anything happens that makes you feel like you are in over your heads – that’s when it’s recommended that you call a professional. A skilled and well trained plumber has already experienced all the things that can go wrong – even when you undertaking what at first might appear to be a relatively simple plumbing task. They have the knowledge, confidence and tools to remedy any plumbing issue. Plumbers also often deal with propane and gas appliances, and for items like these that have big safety issues – for your own and your family’s peace of mind – some tasks, repairs and maintenance are best not done by yourself.



Now is the time to check and make sure your water lines are properly insulated. Dont wait unti disaster strikes. Schedule your appointment with us to have your water lines properly insulated.

Increase the Value of your Home with Home Repairs



Most sellers are aware that repairs around their home can help their home to sell faster and perhaps for even more money, but it can be confusing to determine exactly which repairs will provide you with the largest return while eliminating other improvements that may not provide much benefit.

When considering home improvements in order to sell your home it is important to keep several factors in mind that can affect how much of a return you receive on repairs. These factors include:

  • Other homes on the market

  • State of the local real estate market

  • Where the home is located

  • Time of year

Keep in mind that every home and every market is different. Obviously, if there is some part of your home that is in great disrepair and is an eyesore, it would behoove you to take care of that matter as promptly as possible in order to make sure it does not turn off buyers.

In general; however, there are some features which may help to boost your profits more quickly than others.


Even if your floors are not in disrepair, replacing them could prove to be a financial advantage when selling your home. If your home already has hardwood flooring but they are covered by carpeting, consider having the carpeting removed and the floors refinished. Hard wood floors are tremendously popular with buyers right now.

Walls and Ceilings

If you have lived in your home for awhile you may have grown accustomed to the walls and ceilings and as a result you may not have noticed cracks in the ceiling and stains on the walls. You can be certain that buyers most certainly will notice; however. You can easily combat these problems by having the walls and the ceilings freshly repainted. Cracks can be easily repaired with the fiberglass tape and joint compound then touched up with paint. When painting your walls and ceilings, do make sure you stick with neutral colors and avoid anything that might turn off a buyer.

A number of homes today still have wood paneling left over from decades ago. While it was popular at the time, that is no longer true today. The good news is that wood paneling can be removed or painted.

The same is also true of textured ceilings. ‘Popcorn’ ceilings were wildly popular a couple of decades ago, especially the kind with sparkles. Today; however, buyers know that these types of ceilings can contain asbestos. Make a point to get rid of textured ceilings and then repaint.

Improvements in the Kitchen

The kitchen can be one of the most important areas in which to focus improvements and repairs. In fact, it is often said that a kitchen can sell a home on its own. Two areas to give attention are cabinets and appliances. If the cabinets are in poor condition and the appliances are outdated and/or do not work, you will need to replace them. This can be a large expenditure; however, it is important to keep in mind that kitchen repairs and remodels can provide nearly a 100% return on investment. You need not go to the high-end route; however. Even a minor kitchen remodel can provide excellent returns.

If you simply cannot afford a complete makeover or your cabinets and counter tops are in fairly good condition, you can still upgrade your kitchen without spending a ton of money. For example, with cabinets you can resurface them for less money than installing new cabinets. Another option would be to simply repaint them and install new hardware.

The Exterior of your Home

Curb appeal is tremendously important to buyers so it is always important to make sure that your home looks attractive and well-maintained from the exterior as well. Options to give your home a boost include:

  • Planting flowers

  • Repairing and painting fences

  • Caulking windows

  • Resurfacing driveways

  • Patching cracks in sidewalks

  • Replacing doorknobs

Of course, if the roof is in disrepair, it is also a good idea to consider having it repaired or replaced as well. This is another area that could be costly; however, a roof that is in poor condition will most certainly drive buyers away rather than invite them in to see all of the wonderful interior features of your home.

Considering the number of homes currently available on the market from which buyers can choose, sellers can do well by considering steps needed to give their home a fresh, modern and well-maintained appearance.

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