When most people think of summer, they imagine getting outside with friends and family. It’s the season for picnics and barbecues and a myriad of outdoor activities. It’s also when kids are out of school so families travel and have guests visit their homes.
What most don’t envision is possible future plumbing issues. Luckily it is easy to keep most of these plumbing mishaps at bay by taking care of some preventative maintenance and limiting certain behaviors.
Here are some tips on what to do about summer plumbing problems and solutions for avoiding them.
1. Shower Drain Clogs
All the fun summer activities often lead to more showers. Not only does this mean more hair can collect in your drain, but other debris like dirt and sand can also be carried into your shower as well.
To help keep your drain from getting clogged, use your garden hose to rinse off dirt and sand prior to showering and remove hair from the drain cover after each shower.
If your shower drain is clogged, water will not flow out properly, leaving you standing in water after you turn off the shower. If this happens, call your plumber to have the drain cleared.
2. Garbage Disposal Clogs
Good weather can lead to backyard cookouts and enjoying your garden’s bounty of fruits and vegetables. Some of which can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. Greasy foods and hard cores from apples and corn are just some of the items that can really clog up your garbage disposal.
Any items that would be hard to cut with a butter knife should be disposed of in the trash bin. Also, remember to run water through your disposal while it is in use. Let the water run for 5 to 10 seconds afterward to flush out the remaining particles of food.
3. Clogged Toilets
Summertime is a great time for entertaining and hosting guests. It’s also when a lot of families get time off from work and school. All of this can mean more toilet flushes and more chances of having toilets backup or overflow.
Many clogs can be avoided by being mindful of what gets flushed. Only toilet paper should be flushed, so provide a trashcan nearby for other items user’s may need to discard.
A gentle reminder to family and guests should keep them from flushing other items that can clog up your toilet causing summer plumbing problems. If little kids are visiting, be sure to cover this tip with them as some kids love seeing what will float and what won’t, and sometimes those items end up down the toilet.
4. Sump Pump Failure
Many places, like Solon, Ohio, get the most of their rain in the summer months. When too much rain comes too quickly, especially down a nearby slope, floods in basements are much more likely.
For this reason, be sure to get your sump pump inspected in late Spring to ensure your sump pump is working properly. Not only is it easier to fix when your basement is dry, but it can also help ensure any rainwater gets cleared out promptly, limiting damage to your house.
5. Washing Machine Leaks
In the summer, people are active and engage in a wide range of activities. Many of these require frequent changes of clothes and towels to dry off, all of which lead to more loads of laundry being run through your machine.
Washing machines have several hoses that can get damaged over time. Make sure they are inspected for cracks or bulges which can indicate an impending water leak ahead.
Washing machines also have many other things that can go wrong with them. The drain hose can become clogged, hoses become loose or unsecured, gaskets and switches can fail, and other parts can crack or get shifted out of alignment. The amount of water that can leak out depends on the reason for the leak, so having your washing machine inspected regularly is recommended.
6. Sewer Line Clogs
All the extra rain and water use in the summer can really tax your sewer line. Your sewer line can get damaged by tree roots, which can allow dirt and other debris to seep in and block the line. Other causes of sewer backups are similar to those that cause inside drains to clog: grease, hair, soap scum, and flushing items that should not be flushed down the toilet.
One sign that your sewer line is clogged is water backing up into your shower or bathtub. If this happens, call your plumber to get them out right away.
7. Overworked Water Heater
Extra laundry and additional showers due to having guests visiting can overwork your water heater. This can cause water to run through the unit too quickly and have no heat or not enough heating to bring it up to the proper temperature.
One solution is to turn down the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Another is to allocate more time between showers and washing loads of laundry.
Inspect Your Plumbing Today
Keeping your plumbing in good working order so you avoid leaks and breakdowns can save money and prevent serious damage down the road. What might only require a washer or a new hose to fix today could mean a lot more work later.
Contact us to schedule an appointment to have one of our knowledgeable and friendly technicians come out to inspect or service your plumbing.