The holidays are nearly here, which means your home will likely see some substantial use over the next several months. Whether you’re planning on hosting holiday parties or are simply going to be spending relaxing time at home with family or loved ones, it’s important to make sure your home is safe, prepared, and ready to handle the long months of use ahead. This begins with a safety inspection for your home’s most important systems, including your plumbing.
A plumbing safety inspection is vital for not just the health of your pipes, but also for the durability and longevity of your entire home. Unlike your other major systems, your plumbing carries water, and water can be immensely destructive in even small amounts. A simple leak could lead to wood rot, damaged drywall, mold and mildew growth, and plenty of other consequences ranging from mildly annoying to extremely serious. To make matters more concerning, there are so many different ways something could go wrong with your plumbing system that a leak or other minor problem is far from rare or unexpected.
Here are some valuable safety inspection tips you can follow in order to make sure your plumbing system is really ready for the holidays and the extensive use it may receive over the next few months.
Insulate Exposed Plumbing Lines
Exposed plumbing lines could become a problem for your home in the event the weather dips into extremely cold, sub-freezing temperatures. While this isn’t common here in Southern California, the high deserts are known for having a few nights every year where they really begin to push toward the magical 32 degrees Fahrenheit number. If it goes too far past this number for too long, you may end up with a frozen pipe, and a frozen pipe can really be a problem for your home.
When water freezes, it expands. When it expands but has nowhere to go, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the container holding it. Eventually, the container (in this case, the pipe holding it) fails and bursts. As soon as the water in the pipe melts, you’re left with water gushing out of your line. Not only is this wasteful, but it could quickly deal incredible damage to your home if the burst happens in your wall.
Take the proactive step and purchase plumbing insulation from your local home improvement warehouse. It’s generally inexpensive and easy to install but could make all the difference when it comes to helping your home avoid the hassle of a broken pipe.
Be Careful What You Put Down the Drain
Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers? It’s true: Plumbers wake up on Black Friday expecting a full day of work, and the biggest reason is because of garbage disposal issues. With Thanksgiving being a holiday involving a lot of food, it stands to reason that your garbage disposal is going to get a lot of use. However, many people aren’t aware that there are some things you really shouldn’t put down the drain. Starchy foods like mashed potatoes, stringy foods like asparagus or corn husks, or even solid foods like eggshells, are all things which should be thrown in the trash rather than in the disposal, and your drains will thank you for it.
However, if you find that you’re dealing with a slow or stubborn drain behind your garbage disposal, you may need to have your drain professionally cleaned. We advise having this service done before the Thanksgiving weekend to ensure your garbage disposal and kitchen drain are ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Check Your Water Heater
You’re going to depend on your water heater a lot more during the winter months than you did throughout the rest of the year. Because hot water naturally feels better and keeps us warm, people tend to take longer showers, spend more time doing the dishes, and generally do things that burn through your hot water supply more frequently. As such, your water heater needs to be ready to function at its best and will have the added difficulty of a colder water supply.
This is why you should have your water heater inspected and maintained before the start of winter as well. Water heater maintenance includes checking your water supplies, draining your tank to remove the sediment buildup, checking your exhaust system, and so much more. All of which helps ensure your water heater will withstand your winter use.
Hear Any Strange Noises?
Finally, if you have any odd noises coming from some aspect of your plumbing, it’s in your best interests to have these issues looked at before winter begins. Got a strange thumping or tapping in your walls? It’s probably water hammer—an issue caused by your water pressure being too high when you cut off the flow of water through a faucet or toilet. This means you need a water pressure regulator on your main line in order to prevent the possibility of pipe damage. Got a gurgling noise in one of your drains? You could have a blocked drain vent or forming clog preventing water from flowing freely. A plumbing safety inspection should check any and all of these issues to ensure your home is truly ready for use throughout the winter months.
Schedule your plumbing safety inspection and prepare for the holidays! Call All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 253-0664 today.