Fall Plumbing Tips
October 10th 2017
NCT Plumbing is a full service plumbing company in the Dallas and Fort Worth area that focuses on new construction plumbing, repair plumbing, and flood protection. As a family owned business since 1968, we care about our neighbors and the effects that winter has on their homes. Some simple maintenance of your home in the fall will help winterize your home. We've heard it predicted that the temperature during the 2017-18 winter will be slightly cooler than normal in Texas, so we at NCT decided to share some fall plumbing tips for you.
Disconnecting and draining your hoses will extend their life as well as making it easier for you to maintain your hose bibs (we'll cover that later). If your hose is connected when the temperature drops below freezing, there's a good chance that it will still have some water in it. When water freezes in a hose it blocks any other water from leaving. Frozen water also expands, which will burst a cold hose! This may seem like a small thing to do, but disconnecting and draining your hoses will save you a lot of issues with both the hoses and the pipes connected to their attached facets.
The hose bibb is the spigot or faucet on the outside of your house. This is where you connect your garden hoses. These should be drained and left open during the winter. Here's how to do that:
- First, make sure they aren't dripping or leaking (you would have to remove your hoses to see this!). If one is leaking you can fix it yourself or give us a call.
- After you know your hose bibbs aren't leaking, find each bibb's shutoff valve (usually in your house) and shut it off.
- After it's shut off, go back outside and turn on the bibb to drain out excess water. Leave this open during the winter.
- Go back into your house and find the "bleeder valve". It should be near your shutoff valve. Hold a bowl below this and drain out any excess water.
Some houses have frost-proof hose bibbs that don't need to be shut off. You'll probably already know if this is the case, but if not feel free to ask someone who would know!
Check around your doors and windows for any openings that are letting air in. Once the winter hits, that cold air will cool down your house and keep your furnace running more than it needs to! Repair any of these openings to keep your house warm.
Hot water tanks need to be serviced and checked often – especially when they're older. If your heater is getting old and you're wondering if it's time to change it out, check out are article of 5 signs you might need a new water heater. Regarding fall home maintenance, your water heater will run more often during winter, so here are a few thigns you can do:
- Flush your water heater to get any debris out.
- Check the temperature and make sure it's at the optimal temperature of 120°F
- Check the manufacturer's website to see if there are any specific tips for your heater.
- Give us a call is you need help.
This might be more than a one time task, depending on your home's surroundings. Clean out the leaves and any debris from your gutters and downspouts. These will block any water from draining off of your roof properly. Improperly drained water can cause a lot of damage many parts of your house (ex. broken gutters, water freezing into foundation, etc). If there are lots of trees above your home, do this a few times before winter.
Turn Off Water When You're Away
Sometimes people like to leave their homes for long periods of time of winter vacations! When you do this, shut off you main water valve and drain the system. You can drain the pipes by turning on the faucets at the lowest and highest points of the house. Also, leave your heat at a minimal temperature so that nothing freezes! 55°F is a good minimum.
Winterizing your home with these tips in fall will save you a lot of possible headaches in winter and throughout the life of your home. These tips are great for a hoem the is inhabited. If you need to winterize an unihabited home – like a vacation property or a rental home that no one is living in currently – then give us a call for some more things to do.
If you need help or run into problems, we're here to help you out! Contact us before the winter hits!