Your Fall Plumbing Maintenance Guide

fall plumbing maintenance

Edmonton is special: we get to enjoy four distinct seasons, and, for better or worse, all that comes with them. Since summer tends to extend into September, autumn is our shortest season. This means we don’t have much time to enjoy the colourful leaves and pumpkin spice lattes because before we know it, there’s frost on the ground.

So take advantage of those three or four weeks of mild fall weather and prepare your home’s plumbing for the next six months of snow and ice by doing the preventive maintenance outlined in this article.

That way you’ll avoid leaks and floods that could seriously damage your house, and you’ll be ready for all the water runoff when things finally start to melt in the spring.

1. Drain and Clear Debris from your Outdoor Water Fixtures

Properly Store Your Garden Hoses

Our garden hoses see a lot of use during the summer. We water plants, run the sprinkler, fill wading pools, and generally “hose things/dogs/people down.” And while hoses can be left on the ground and stepped on without getting damaged, they need to be brought inside for the winter.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Drain all the water to prevent rotting and mould, fungus, and mildew from growing inside.
  2. Coil the hose. If it’s not coiling easily, try going in the other direction.
  3. Store on a shelf or hook.

Prepare your Backyard Pond and/or Fountain for Winter

To be clear, the kind of pond we’re referring to is the kind without fish. If you have a small koi pond on your property, is an excellent resource for koi enthusiasts. They’ve written a detailed guide on Seasonal Pond Care that will help you prepare your pond and fish for the winter.

fall plumbing maintenance

Image via Pixabay

Fish or not, most Albertans will drain their backyard ponds and give them a good cleaning in the fall. Draining your pond is simple and there are a few methods to choose from:

  1. Use the pond drain. This is only an option if your pond was built with a drain, but it makes emptying your pond a breeze. First clean out any debris, then drain the pond.
  2. Use a shop vac. This is great for draining small ponds and sucking up all the gunk at the bottom.
  3. Use a sump pump. For larger ponds (or less effort with smaller ponds), sump pumps can carry your pond water into a sewer, a tank, a drain, or even a giant barrel if you’d like to use the nutrient-rich pond water to feed your foliage.

2. Clean out your Eavestroughs and Downspouts

Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, and Sherwood Park all get about the same amount of rainfall: not much. But heavy snowfall that collects over months can lead to ground saturation and flooding in the spring. Your eavestroughs can prevent this kind of flooding by directing water away from your home’s foundation.

Also, make sure your down spouts are long enough to divert water away from your home and onto your lawn.

Making sure that your eavestroughs and gutters are clean will also prevent rusting, roof damage, terrible smells from rotting leaves, and even stains to the side of your house! So roll up your sleeves and take a few minutes to clear them out.

To learn more about cleaning your eavestroughs, check out this video:

3. Keep Drains Free of Debris

Clear away all the grass clippings, landscaping trimmings, and fallen leaves to allow for excellent drainage during melts.

4. Check Your Sump Pump This Fall

We recommend checking and cleaning your sump pump * every year. You’ll want to test it, clean certain parts of your system, and make repairs (if needed) to ensure another year of perfect sump pumping.

Here is a list of things to check off this fall:

  • Confirm that the pump is upright.
  • Pour some water into the pit. If the pump doesn’t start automatically or if the water doesn’t drain, call in our plumbing experts, and we will service it for you.
  • Remove submersible pump and clean the grate on the bottom. Small rocks can get pulled into the grate and block the inlet or damage the pump.
  • Check that the outlet pipes are joined securely.
  • Make sure pipes drain out at least 20 feet from your foundation.
  • Check that the vent hole in the discharge pipe is free of debris or obstructions.

* Important to know is that sump pumps use electricity, which means they may stop working if the power goes out.

In the Edmonton area, fall feels like it only lasts a couple weeks, so once you’ve done your fall plumbing chores, get started on your preventative maintenance for winter so you’ll have more time to enjoy the fleeting moments of fall.

Some common winter plumbing issues to watch out for are water heater breakdowns, frozen pipes, leaks, and high utility bills. Learn more about these potential problems in our blog “Common Winter Plumbing Issues for the Edmonton Area and How to Avoid Them.” 

Do you have any tips or tricks for fall plumbing maintenance? Share them below in the comments section. Feel free to share this article with your friends and neighbours too, so they can avoid future plumbing issues.

Our Canuck Plumbers specialize in preventive maintenance, repairs, and emergency plumbing service. We provide you with Red Carpet Service when we’re servicing your home, small business, or commercial property.

7 replies
  1. Jeremy
    Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the great advice! I will definitely save it to my favorites for the next fall. I think that proper maintenance will save you from the headaches and the financial resources you will have to spend if a problem occurs with your plumbing during the winter season. It is also worth noting that you must think about purchasing the proper equipment and safe footwear and clothing to do this annual maintenance.

  2. Shoe Matters
    Shoe Matters says:

    Great post! Following these tips can save you a lot of money and problems from water damage! I personally prefer to do most of these prophylactics in the early spring as well. Thanks for this post!


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