Any exposed plumbing pipes that are used for water should be wrapped with electrical heating tape in the fall, especially in colder climates. Once the pipes have been secured with the electrical heating tape, insulate them with foam pipe insulation. Both of those supplies can be found at most home improvement warehouses and supply centers.
Any exterior faucets should be shut off during fall plumbing maintenance, Be sure to remove and drain all hoses and drain any open taps. If your home has a sprinkler system, don't forget about shutting that off and having it drained as well. Manual, automatic, and blow-out are the three methods used. The appropriate method will vary by system. An experienced licensed professional is best for this job.
Hot Water Heater
To protect a hot water heater from freezing (and also to save money on your water bill), wrap the heater tank with an insulating blanket in the fall. These can be found at many home improvement and hardware stores. If you live in an area where it gets particularly cold, this is definitely recommended before the cold weather hits.
The following are routine things that be checked in a home periodically. Since you are already preparing the rest of the plumbing for the winter, it's a good idea to check for these things as well.
Faucets - Leaky faucets are often simple to fix and should be repaired as soon as possible. Check not only the top area of the faucet, but underneath the cabinet as well. Leaks can also occur in the pipes.
Pipes - While you are checking pipes, check the other pipes in the house as well.
Soft Spots - If you have noticed soft spots on the ceiling or the walls, you may have leaking pipes inside the walls or in the attic.
Toilets - Check all your toilets to be sure they are flushing properly and not running. Also, be sure the toilet is firmly held in place.
Caulking - If any caulking around showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks is coming loose, peel it all away and re-caulk those areas.
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*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network