Plumbing just seems to be one of those things that we wait until the last possible minute to fix. Like going to the dentist or fixing the car, we’d much rather wait until something is actually broken than spend the time getting healthy teeth looked at and cleaned. Unfortunately, ignoring gas piping and plumbing leads aging pipes and connections that will eventually start to leak. Home maintenance is an important part of a homeowner’s job. Proper maintenance helps to keep the value of your home where it should be and cuts down on costly repairs. So this fall, before winter weather sets in, take some time to give your home a once-over and inspect your water and gas lines.
Fall Inspection Checklist:
- If you haven’t yet, locate your water meter and primary water shut off valve. Test the valve to make sure that it works properly.
- Test for leaks and drips. Make sure that all water taps are closed and that any appliances which use water are not running. Check the water meter, if it shows water use, then there are leaks in your home.
- Take the time to inspect your water heater. Test the relief valve and make sure there are no drips or leaks around the base of the tank. Inspect connections for loose fittings or corrosion. Consider the size of your water heater. Has one of your children started taking longer showers? Are you planning to hosts multiple guests during the winter? Is the hot water storage tank large enough? If not, you might consider upgrading to a larger size tank.
- Prepare your pipes for the winter by wrapping and insulating them. Outdoor pipes should be wrapped with an insulating blanket. Hoses should be drained and disconnected. When the weather report finally says there is going to be a freeze, open up cabinets and expose water pipes to warmer air, then start them dripping.
- Since the holidays are approaching, run water in any unused guest rooms. You should be testing these appliances every month or so and running stagnant water out of their lines. Simply turn on tubs, showers, and sinks to test flow and draining and flush any toilets to make sure they run properly.
Gas Piping Inspection
While water can cause severe damage to your home if not maintained properly, gas piping runs the risk of creating invisible threats. If your home uses natural gas or propane, it’s important to always be vigilant for leaks. Before the cold sets in this year, be sure you take the time to:
- Make sure you know where the main cut-off valve is.
- While the gas is running, walk the length of all your gas piping. Listen for the hiss of escaping gas and be wary for the smell of rotten eggs. If either is present, shut off the gas immediately and call a professional for repairs.
- Check fuel levels to make sure that you’re ready when you need to use your furnace, water heater, or anything else that’s gas operated.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they’re working properly.
- Have your furnace cleaned and tested before you turn it on for the first time this year.
Maintenance Before Repair
It’s always better to fix problems before they happen. If you’re facing regular drain clogs or sewer line backups, have a professional inspect the plumbing with a camera. There is nothing worse than being stuck without functional plumbing for a few days while the sewer main is repaired (unless you count this happening while family is visiting). A camera inspection will reveal potential faults and problems with aging or eroded sewer lines before they become catastrophic. Finding a problem early gives you more time to repair the issue and can give you more options when it comes to how you want to repair the line. So act now if you’re facing repeated drain and sewer clogs.
Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want! Call us today at (423) 616-1025!