We’re almost into October and Fall is officially here. Although weather experts predict a warm and dry season for most of Canada, it’s still a good time to review your household maintenance requirements before it gets cold.

Reliable plumbing is a critical aspect of being warm and dry throughout the winter, and we’ve listed 5 things you may be able to do yourself to make sure you stay snug. Alternatively, contact your plumber in Toronto for an estimate on doing a maintenance call to attend to them.

Prevent Cracked Pipes

Disconnect and empty all your outdoor hoses. Shut off the indoor valve leading water to the outdoor faucet and then run the tap until the pipes are empty. You aren’t likely to be watering the garden past the end of October, and if you forget to do this you’ll run the risk of the water freezing in the pipe.

Ice expands and the pipes could crack, leading to a soggy mess inside your walls when the weather warms up again that requires expensive plumbing repairs. Cover the faucets with Styrofoam insulation from the hardware store to protect them against the harsh weather.

Service Hot Water Heater

Service your hot water heater to get optimum performance out of it during the winter months. Flush out the water at the bottom of the heater to get rid of built-up sediment, which can result in less efficiency as well as causing corrosion as the heater gets older.

If you aren’t sure how to do this, check the manufacturer’s website for instructions or call your plumber in Toronto for an estimate on servicing it for you.

Check Temperature and Valves

Check the temperature setting of the hot water heater and turn it up to 65 C for the best Winter performance. At the same time, check the hot water heater’s pressure relief valve to make sure it’s working. Lift the lever and let it drop back, and check whether this causes a burst of hot water into the drain. You should only do this if your heater and/or valve are new or it has been tested regularly because an older valve that has never been tested can spring a leak as a result of sticking or corroded seals.

Get a Drain Inspection

Perform a camera inspection of your drainage system. Once cold weather hits, it’s pretty difficult to get into the drains to do any necessary plumbing repairs. Toronto is beautiful during the Fall, with its piles of multi-colored leaves everywhere, but those can quickly turn into a drainage hazard with a strong wind or rain that sweeps them into all the cracks.