Fall in New York City; the leaves change, the pumpkin spice lattes flow freely, and scarves become the fashion statement du jour. But while you’re busy Instagramming Central Park’s autumnal hues, don’t forget about your plumbing. Because winter is coming, folks, and your pipes need some TLC. Here’s how to ensure they’re up for the task.
Leaf it Out: Gutter Cleaning
Those beautiful fall leaves? They’re not so pretty when they’re clogging up your gutters and downspouts. Ensure water can flow freely away from your building by giving them a good clean. No one wants a mini Niagara Falls situation next to their brownstone.
Disconnect and Drain: Outdoor Hoses and Faucets
Unless you’re planning on hosting an ice sculpture contest in your backyard, it’s time to disconnect those outdoor hoses. Drain them, store them, and ensure outdoor faucets are turned off. Frozen pipes are a real party pooper.
Insulate to Celebrate: Pipe Protection
Those drafty NYC apartments might have “character,” but they can also lead to frozen pipes. Insulate any exposed pipes, especially in unheated areas. Your pipes will thank you with a chorus of non-bursting joy.
Water Heater Warm-Up
Your water heater works overtime in the colder months. Show it some love by flushing out any sediment and checking the thermostat. A cozy 120°F is the sweet spot. Anything hotter and you’re just asking to reenact that scene from “Home Alone.”
Check Your Sump Pump
If you’re one of the lucky New Yorkers with a basement, give your sump pump a test run. You want it in tip-top shape to handle any fall storms. Because a flooded basement is about as welcome as a Times Square Elmo.
Seal the Deal: Check for Drafts
Drafts around windows and doors aren’t just bad for your heating bill. They can also freeze exposed pipes. Seal up any gaps with weatherstripping or caulk. Your pipes (and your wallet) will appreciate it.
Plan for the Worst: Know Your Main Water Valve
In the off chance that things go south, know where your main water valve is and how to shut it off. It’s the plumbing equivalent of “stop, drop, and roll.”
Conclusion: Fall into Good Habits
Fall is the perfect time to give your plumbing a little extra attention. With a bit of prep, you can ensure everything runs smoothly, no matter how chilly it gets. So, go on, enjoy that pumpkin spice latte, snap those fall pics, and rest easy knowing your plumbing is ready for whatever NYC winter throws its way.