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01.2 - Is your plumbing and heating ready for autumn.jpg

Is Your Home Plumbing Prepared for Colder Weather?

Just recall the vast weather swings over the past few years and the issues they caused if you want to convince yourself that summer will remain forever. Take a few fast steps to avoid some of the common problems that can develop as summer gives way to fall before you’re ready to turn the heat back on.

Since it is generally acknowledged that climate change is to blame for the increasing frequency of weather extremes, we must ensure that we are adequately prepared for everything.

One of the seasons when boiler issues are most common is when you turn on the heating for the first time in the fall after turning it off all spring and summer. Being proactive now will lessen the likelihood that anything may break down when you most need it.

You Can Do These Things

1. Immediately turn on your heating (for a little period of time).

Even though it may seem counterintuitive to turn on the heating for a few minutes once or twice a month throughout the spring and summer, doing so benefits your boiler by keeping all of its parts in good working order and highlighting any potential issues at a time when it is most convenient to address them.

2. Examine and bleed every radiator.

Radiators that have too much trapped air inside of them won’t work as well in the winter but will still consume the same amount of energy. You may determine if yours are harmed by turning on the heating and viewing how evenly they heat, even if it is worthwhile to periodically bleed them. After inspecting them, turn them on at full power and then reduce the temperature to a setting suitable for autumn. If they just heat from the bottom rather than the top, they need bleeding. To finish it, simply adhere to the following directions. Since cold spots could be a sign of sludge in the system, a powerflush is advised.

3. Arrange for boiler upkeep.

Before you decide to turn on the heating again, it’s a good idea to have your boiler serviced. It means that all of your functional parts and configurations have been looked at, and any trouble spots, such sludge accumulation, can now be fixed. Everything works out because it is also less expensive to get your boiler serviced in the summer.

4. Inspect the plumbing outside.

Pipes freezing when temps drop is a common problem. This same holds true for the condensate line in your boiler. Look for signs of degeneration and weak spots in each joint, and replace or repair any that don’t seem to be sturdy. You should lag the pipes to further insulate them from the cold. Laminating is affordable and accessible at any home improvement store, and frozen pipes can result in flooding and boiler failures, so it makes perfect sense to do this now. Simply check to see if your pipes are still up to the task if they are already slow; if not, replace them.

5. Look at the stop taps.

The water supply should be turned off at the stop tap as soon as there is a leak or flood. In an emergency, learning that something is either a) hard to get to or b) difficult to turn is never a good idea. Quickly locate your stop tap, and make sure it spins easily. If water begins to leak from the roof, you’ll be glad you took this action. Consider installing a Sure Stop, a remote stop tap that can be placed in a more convenient area and operates with a simple switch, if it is difficult to reach or turn.

Make sure your outside tap’s supply has a separate stop tap or valve so you may isolate it if necessary while you’re working on it. This simply means that you don’t have to switch off the supply to the entire house in the event that a pipe freezes and a joint bursts. If it doesn’t have a finish before winter, think about giving it one.

6. Check the carbon monoxide detector.

Fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is rare, so you shouldn’t need to worry too much if you keep your gas appliances properly by having them serviced by a Gas Safe expert. However, it is still conceivable, and if your boiler’s chimney is blocked, turning on the heating in the fall could put you at risk. Every home should include a CO sensor that can alert you to any leakage of the gas. To make sure everything is in working condition, test your battery, if you have one. If you don’t already have one, you should absolutely get one.

These safety precautions can help you avoid costly and annoying boiler malfunctions, save money, reduce damage in an emergency case, and even save your life. They are all just common sense safeguards. Worth a couple hours of your time right now, without a doubt.