Home Care Series: Summer Plumbing Tips
Summertime brings a drastic increase in water usage. From swimming pools, outdoor sprinklers and more showers to break the heat to kids out of school for the Summer using home appliances more often. Every season there’s the usual home care tips for homeowners to maintain and get the most out of their residence. This year we’ve added a few lesser known items to the list of Summer plumbing tips. Here's to you AND your home this Summer season!
Sewer Line Pipe Inspection
The increased thunderstorms and rainwater that come with Summer typically also increase the potential for backups in your sewer line. Storm water enters sewer pipes through small cracks and creates congestion. Remember the big tree root in the yard you want to remove? Well it, and many more roots beneath the surface are putting pressure and strain on your sewer line as well. Have a professional inspect your sewer line pipes for signs of damage. Make any needed repairs now and avoid potential backups later.
Check the Hot Water Heater
Because cold water is in demand during the hot months of Summer it’s a great time to check your hot water heater. Avoid the rush to the plumber in Winter when everyone else is having their hot water heater attended to.
An inspection of the heater, anode rod, and heating elements during this slow time can save a lot of time and headaches during busy Winter months.
Garbage Disposal Protection
Backyard cookouts, pool parties, and more social gatherings in general end up putting your garbage disposal through much heavier usage during the Summer months. Unfortunately, as obvious as it seems it must still be said and put in writing… do not put bones, plastic silverware, cornhusks or other stringy foods down the disposal. Similarly, don’t put leftover hamburger meat or any other fatty foods down the disposal either. Fatty foods can stick to drain pipes and cause clogs also.
Bathroom Trash Cans!
No one thinks about this too much! Summertime brings more social events and parties which means more family and friends using bathrooms. And no matter how much you think it’s a no-brainer things like Q-tips, paper towels, etc. find their way into toilets instead of the trash can. Avoid potential toilet issues and have bathroom trash cans readily available.
New Washing Machine Hoses
By virtue of spending more time outdoors there tends to be an increase in dirty clothes and laundry during the hot months of Summer.
Make sure your washing machine is prepared for the extra work by having the hoses inspected for cracks, leaks, or bulging. It’s highly recommended to change your washing machine hoses at least once every three years.
Checking Pressure Before Vacation
Your home has a water pressure in your water lines just like the human body has a blood pressure. As such, you don’t want it high and you don’t want it to build up because pressure problems often happen when the home or plumbing is NOT being used. That means problems due to high water pressure tend to happen while you’re asleep or away on vacation!
When you’re away on vacation, you’re not flushing toilets or running the shower. That means all the unused water builds up pressure in plumbing lines not meant to be under pressure for long periods of time.
Hot water pressure especially can damage things much more quickly. Prepare for vacation by turning off your system entirely using your master water shutoff switch.
You can purchase a pressure gauge to keep an eye on your home’s water pressure at all times, or even a pressure regulator!
That’s it for this round of homecare advice. We hope you enjoy a safe and fun Summer!