If you don’t want plumbing issues this winter, make sure you prep your home’s plumbing!
Photos By: Stock Images
Compared to many other states and countries, winters in Perth, Australia, are relatively mild. Snow isn’t piling up on doorsteps, and pipes are generally less at risk of freezing over and splitting. However, that’s not to say that Australians don’t need to prepare more than just themselves for the colder weather ahead. They also need to prepare their plumbing. Before the temperatures plummet and we wave goodbye to autumn, take the time to prepare your home’s plumbing for winter in some of the following ways.
Stow Away Your Garden Hoses
Any plumber north Perth residents rely on will tell you that temperatures are reasonably mild in winter, with July being the coldest month with an average low of 7.9 degrees Celsius. You might not experience bitterly cold temperatures, but there can still be value in storing away your garden hoses as a preventative measure.
While you generally reach for your garden hose often in the summer months to keep your plants hydrated and healthy, it’s generally less required in winter. Disconnect it from your outside taps and store it in a dry, sheltered place to stop it from freezing and cracking. Otherwise, summer might arrive, only for you to find that you need to purchase a new one.
Check Your Hot Water System
Cold weather can wreak havoc on hot water systems, and there’s always a chance they can split or stop working as the temperatures start dropping. Get into the habit of using the relief valves regularly to ensure they’re working and request hot water heating servicing on a schedule. Electric, gas, and continuous flow or instant hot water systems should be serviced a maximum of once every three years, while solar and heat pump water systems should be serviced every four years.
If you can’t remember the last time your hot water system was serviced, book it in for maintenance as a just-in-case measure. You might also request the services of a trained plumber if you encounter problems such as no hot water, leaking relief valves, tank rust, and water temperature fluctuations.
Clean Out Your Gutters
As your home’s gutters aren’t something you see every day, it can be hard to remember to clean them out. Use the changing seasons as a reminder to take care of this critical task. After cleaning out your gutters, ensure downpipes and soak wells are free of debris and are working as they should.
It’s essential to focus on this vital home maintenance task before winter arrives. Otherwise, heavy winter rainfall might lead to overflowing gutters and water entering your roof space and flooding your ceiling. If you’re not able to clean out your home’s gutters yourself, hire a professional to do it for you.
Look for Drainage Problems
Drainage problems are rarely an issue in summer, with minimal rainfall meaning water generally drains away easily. However, problems can sometimes present themselves in winter when drains become inundated. If you’ve noticed that water isn’t draining as fast as it should, or you hear any gurgling or unusual sounds when it does, contact a plumber without delay. There might be a blockage in your drains, caused by debris or even tree roots in old pipes. The sooner you combat this problem, the less costly it might be to fix.
Tidy Your Garden
You might think that tidying your garden isn’t an essential winter task related to your plumbing, but it can be. Tree branches that overhang your roof can drop leaves and debris into your spouting, leading to blockages that cause water to overflow. While you can prevent this from being a problem by cleaning out your spouting regularly, it can often be better to tackle the issue at the source. When trees start to enter their leaf-dropping stage, trim any branches that might be within an easy dropping distance of your home spouting.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Exposed pipes are generally more than capable of handling the extreme Australian elements, but that can all change once winter arrives. When temperatures drop and some parts of the state experience frosts, exposed pipes can crack and wreak havoc on your plumbing system.
From Autumn onwards, inspect your property, look for exposed pipes, and identify any weak points or cracks. You can then replace the pipes before they start to leak. If they are in good condition, consider insulating them with newspaper, insulation, foam sleeves, or heat tape to stop them from freezing.
Preparing your plumbing for winter in Perth, Australia, is far less intensive than in other parts of the world. However, that’s not to suggest you don’t have any tasks on your to-do list. Focus on these above, and you might enjoy a plumbing problem-free winter.