Top Summer Plumbing Problems You Can Avoid
When do you need a plumber? Most homeowners think winter is the most common time for plumbing emergencies. Cold weather can lead to frozen pipes that burst, but warmer weather means an increased usage of water at your home leading to problems. You can avoid most emergencies with a brief inspection of many plumbing areas. If you are unsure, call a plumbing company like Hague Quality Water of Maryland to inspect your home’s plumbing.
Download a copy of the Summer Plumbing Checklist!
8 Tips For Summer Plumbing
1. Clogged Toilets
Summer is approaching, finally! The kids are home and that means toilets are used more often. It’s a good idea to remind young children what should and should not be flushed. Flushing toys and other items typically leads to a clogged toilet. Likewise, using a minimal amount of toilet tissue will also prevent major clogs.
2. Cracked Hose Bibs
The winter months brought sub-zero temperatures. If you didn’t turn off the water to your outdoor fixtures over the winter, check hose bibs for any damage. Repairs to a cracked hose bib now will help you avoid serious plumbing problems in the future.
3. Sump Pump Failure
Summer rain brings along the potential for floods. Make sure your sump pump is in good working order. Do you have a battery backup? A battery backup will keep your pump running in the event of a power outage. Ensure your gutters and drains are free of debris so water flows as planned and to alleviate flooding potential.
4. Sprinkler System Damage
Before use, test your sprinkler system, and check and clean the sprinkler heads. Take note of the sprinkler head locations. An errant path with the mower could lead to an expensive repair.
Be aware of significant changes in water usage. This could be a sign of a leak. Checking for leaks now will prevent an astronomically high water bill at the end of the summer!
5. Washing Machine Leaks
Washing machine overuse is common during summer months. Kids are home from school, vacationing guests create more laundry, and don’t forget the extra towels from the pool, beach or river. More time outside plus hot, sweaty afternoons equals more dirty clothes. Make sure all of the parts of your washer are in good working order. Look at hoses for leaks and cracks. The lifetime of a rubber washing machine hose is approximately 3 years.
6. Clogged Garbage Disposals
Scraps from hard veggies and fruits, like corn and watermelon, wreak havoc on a garbage disposal. Fried chicken on the menu? Oils should never go down the drain. The discards should go in the trash and not your disposal.
7. Pet Fur and Clogged Drains
Your dog’s fur can clog drains, especially if they are a summer shedder. Brush your pet thoroughly before bathing and avoid bathing in bathtubs and showers when possible. Besides, what’s better than an outdoor puppy bath on a warm summer day?
8. Water Heater Repairs
Summer showers are hard on your water heater. With all the extra laundry (see above) and the extra bathing, your water heater will be overworking. If your water heater hasn’t been flushed in a year or more, you’ll want to start with that. If your water heater is more than 8 years old, have it fully inspected. Most water heaters last 8-10 years and an emergency water heater repair is a costly repair you will want to avoid.
Going on vacation? If you haven’t run through the checklist yet, now is the perfect time. Even more, make plans to have a friend check in on your house while you are away. Even a short absence could lead to a big and costly mess if a leak goes undetected.
Here’s a quick checklist to use before you leave:
- Check your water-using appliances for loose or cracked hoses and leaks.
- Turn your water heater down to a lower setting.
- For longer absences, consider turning off your water main and hot water heater.
- Empty the dishwasher and washing machine, and leave them open to air. That way, you won’t be coming home to musty, unpleasant odors.
- Make sure all taps are completely off.
- Check your irrigation system schedule.
Preventative plumbing is always a good choice! Hague Quality Water of Maryland is available for all your residential plumbing needs.