When your kids are home for summer break, they can give your plumbing systems a workout. This increased usage can often result in various plumbing problems and repairs throughout the warm, summer months. Fortunately, you can avoid some common problems by following a few preventative maintenance tips.
Here are a few plumbing problems and solutions to try this summer.
One of the most common plumbing issues homeowners experience is clogged toilets. Most household toilets are used more often during the summer, especially in homes with children. Remind your kids to flush after they use the toilet and to avoid using excessive amounts of toilet paper.
You most likely can unclog a clogged toilet yourself; but if you need assistance, contact a licensed plumber.
Overworked Washing Machines
Children who spend a lot of time outside or at the pool tend to produce a lot of dirty clothes. You may use your washing machine more when kids start to play outside regularly. If possible, stay at home when the washing machine is running so you can stop the machine and call a professional if a problem arises.
You can likely avoid costlier repairs if you resolve problems early. For instance, if your washing machine’s hose burst, it could cause excessive water damage. To prevent this, move the washing machine a few inches away from the walls to avoid getting a kink in your machine’s water hose. You can also remove lint after each cycle to prevent potential fires.
If you’re worried that your washing machine is currently damaged, call a licensed plumber for needed repairs.
Unnecessary Cooling and Heating Costs
When you’re away on summer vacation, you can save money by adjusting the temperature of your water heater. Turn down the water heater’s temperature while you’re away to avoid unnecessary heating costs.
And for longer trips, dispose of very perishable foods in your refrigerator and increase the refrigerator’s temperature to save on cooling costs. Some foods you could remove from your refrigerator may include dairy and meat products.
Are you planning on hosting a BBQ this summer? If so, remember to avoid putting leftover food in the disposal. Too much food can damage your disposal.
Even produce can damage your disposal. Hard vegetables and fruits, such as corn and watermelon, are especially prone to cause disposal damages. Stringy, fiber-rich foods can also clog disposals, such as corn husks and banana peels.
Instead of placing these foods in the disposal, place a garbage can nearby that you and others can use to dispose of scrap foods. Garbage cans are the best way to dispose of cooking oils and grease.
If you decide to put foods in your disposal, turn on the cold water at maximum pressure for at least 15 seconds before throwing food in the disposal, and continue to run the cold water for 15 seconds afterwards.
Inspect your sprinklers for damages before you turn them on for the summer. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of water by unknowingly running sprinklers with damaged sprinkler heads. You should also take note where each sprinkler head is before you mow the lawn to avoid damaging sprinkler heads with your lawn mower.
Backed-up Sewer Lines
Summer rain showers can cause water to enter sewer pipes through small cracks in the pipe. If too much water enters the sewer line, it can cause a backup in your sewer line. Summer rain also encourages trees to grow. If tree roots grow near your sewer line, they could crack the pipes and allow a potential backup in your sewer line.
Call a licensed plumber if you notice signs that your sewer line may be backed up. For example, toilet water coming through the bathtub drain is a sign that you have a backed up sewer line.
Use these plumbing tips this summer to avoid unnecessary costs and repairs. If a plumbing problem does arise, contact the professionals at South West Plumbing for help. We can diagnose the issue and discuss possible solutions with you.