Plumbing isn’t something that crosses our minds until something goes wrong. And, of course, it’s always something urgent that you need a plumber for right away. To add to the emergency, guests are coming over for Thanksgiving and now you’re really panicking. Emergencies happen, but they’re often preventable. With the temperatures quickly cooling down, you should be aware of some common fall plumbing problems. The best way to be proactive about them, of course, is by doing your fall maintenance checklist.
We asked our reliable plumbers what they’ve noticed about the fall season and the types of calls that come in. This is what they had to share.
Ask a Plumber: Common Fall Plumbing Problems
Fall problems can lead to winter disasters, especially when it comes to Calgary’s freezing temperatures. Last year, we saw temperatures plummet below -30. Yikes.
Without performing a fall maintenance check, you may be calling your plumber more often than usual to fix a leak gone wild or restore your hot water. We’ve included the top problems homeowners run into during the fall and how you can prevent them.
Something smells funny.
Your home shouldn’t smell like a swamp, unless you happen to be Shrek’s neighbour. That’s the first sign you’ve left your fall maintenance a little too long. This could be happening because your gutters and drains are clogged with leaves and debris that should be taken care of during your seasonal clean-up.
If it’s left to pile up and run its course without your intervention, it’ll create a dam that prevents water from going down and away from your home. This leads to a whole other long list of issues that could include a leak or even affect your sewer lines (which is something you definitely don’t want to mess with).
If you notice a funny smell from your drains or near your home’s gutters and can’t figure out why, it’s time to call a plumber to inspect before it becomes a bigger problem that’s harder to fix.
An undetected leak.
A dripping faucet or running toilets aren’t the only sources of a leak. They can be sneaky, hiding behind walls and causing a lot more damage than you’re aware of. Left too long, they’ll begin to wreak havoc on your foundation and the home’s structural integrity.
From a burst pipe to a silent but deadly leak, these are common problems that should be addressed before the temperatures drop significantly. If the water freezes, it’ll be nearly impossible to detect unless a pipe bursts. You’ll want to look at your floors, walls, and ceiling for any damp areas, cracks, or corrosion. You may want to consider doing it Santa-style – checking your list twice.
While a small leak in your bathroom may not seem like it’s cause for alarm, it’ll save you money in the long run if you take care of it now. It can add up on your water bill quickly!
Your garage, laundry room, basement, or crawl space may have some exposed pipes that need attention. When the temperatures begin to drop in the fall, one particularly cool evening can surprise you with burst water lines and flooding happening in your home. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen while you’re on vacation…
To avoid an emergency call to your local plumber, you should insulate the exposed pipes as soon as possible. You don’t even need an expert to do this, but it is recommended if you want it done right the first time. However, you can get some great pipe insulation kits from a nearby hardware store that you can secure with duct tape.
Water heater breakdowns
Your water heater is essential, especially as the season takes a turn. A cold shower may be refreshing on a hot summer day, but nobody wants to do a cold plunge in mid-October. You’ll want to flush your water heater this fall to avoid an unexpected hot water fiasco. This is when you may discover that there’s a problem you can prevent.
Your plumbing system requires a bit of maintenance and care to keep running smoothly. By thinking about common seasonal problems, where they can happen, and what you can do to prevent them, you can save yourself the headache and extra spending that comes from a plumbing emergency. The best way to keep your home in tip-top shape before the winter arrives is to have it inspected by a local expert that can inform you of any red flags. Book with Plumbing & Heating Paramedics to get the best service in Calgary and surrounding areas.
Have you run into one of these common fall plumbing problems before? What did you have to do to fix it? Share your story with our readers so they can be proactive with their plumbing.