The most common plumbing problems you want to avoid this summer
You’ve come out of winter unscathed, even though you were sure you’d have frozen pipes to tend to at some point during the frigid months. Does that mean you can sit back and relax now that the sun is out and temps are up? Unfortunately, there are many plumbing issues you still have to watch out for, and here’s our list of some of the most common.
1) Clogged toilets
While toilets can clog at any time, summertime is particularly more active as the kids are home from school and the usage is up considerably. Some clogged toilets require more than a simple plunger to get them back online. The clog could be deep in the draining system, which will require a plumber’s snake to break up and get the water flowing in the right direction again.
2) Sprinkler lines
If you take pride in your lawn and you don’t want the summer sun scorching your Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue or other common lawn grasses, you have a sprinkler system set up in your lawn. Your sprinkler system will work overtime during the summer months and the sprinkler heads can become clogged. The lines are also prone to cracking and leaking. Do yourself (and your lawn) a favor and have a qualified plumber inspect your sprinkler system at the beginning of the summer so you can get on top of problems before they become a big issue.
3) Washing machine
It’s not uncommon to see more dirt and grime on clothing in the summer as everyone is more active, especially children. Everyone is taking more showers, creating more towel laundry in the process. Check your hoses to and from the machine for leaks, and make sure it doesn’t have a kink in it as this can lead to damage. Also, don’t risk an overload situation, which can lead to flooding – do smaller, more frequent loads.
4) Garbage disposal
Barbecues, family gatherings, neighborhood get-togethers and just more frequent use of the kitchen during the summer months can really do a number on your garbage disposal. You can keep it in functional order by avoiding dumping fat, grease or oil down the drain. Also, be sure to compost melon rinds and other large pieces of organic waste rather than processing it through your garbage disposal. Finally, when you do use it, be sure to flush it thoroughly by running water down the drain for 10 seconds or more after each use.
5) Sump pumps
When you live in an area where basements are prone to flooding, it’s your sump pump that will keep high and dry this summer when you get hit with big rainstorms. Don’t let an unexpected heavy downpour catch you by surprise. Have your sump pump tested and make sure all the parts are functioning properly. Also, it’s important to keep your sump pit clear of debris, because your sump pump relies on its floatation device to trip the switch to turn it on as water fills the pit. If debris is in the way, it could stop the float from doing its job.
6) Shower drains
Going to the beach on the weekends this summer? You know from previous experience how much of the sand you inadvertently take home with you. This winds up in your shower drain, potentially causing a blockage. It’s exacerbated by the fact that hair, a common problem with shower drains, further traps large pieces of debris, which will lead to problematic clogs. Do you best to knock off all the larger debris from your body before getting in, and clear the hair out as often as possible to avoid clogs in your shower.
7) Sewer lines
Some summers are worse than others, but it’s the summer months that we see a great amount of rain filter through our gutters and into the yard. This excessive water can get into the sewer pipes and back up your plumbing. Another issue with sewer lines during the summer relates to tree roots. They grow in the summer and can snake their way into your pipes, causing large cracks, which results in flooding, backups, or both.
When you have a plumbing issue, it’s probably something that comes on quick and abruptly disrupts your life. Have the emergency number for Valley Fire Protection and Plumbing at the ready. We have teams of plumbers with fully stocked service vans ready to assist you. Furthermore, being proactive and getting ahead of any plumbing issue is also something we can assist you with. Call us and we’ll inspect your plumbing system and ensure that you’re set for a summer that’s plumbing-issue free.