Although you might be thinking most major leaking pipes happen in the colder months, unfortunately plumbing problems happen in summer, too. There are certain things that occur during the warmer months that can cause specific plumbing issues. Over the summer, parts of your plumbing system will see an increased use. You may have more people coming into your house during cookouts, pool parties, or as kids get together. And with the kids being out of school, we all know anything and everything can happen!
Let’s look at five specific summer plumbing issues and how to avoid them:
- Everyone loves a good cookout. There are usually grilled meats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. But these foods lead to waste (corn cobs, bones, oily salads, watermelon seeds) that can damage your garbage disposal. Used cooking oils such as the dirty grease after grilling can also be damaging to garbage disposal systems. Be wary of what gets put into the garbage disposal. Consider adding a drain cover over the drain sinks while your cookout is occurring to help your guests think twice about what they do with the waste. You can even take advantage of the casual atmosphere by serving your guests with paper and plastic. That way there is less reason for them to go toward the sink and drains. Provide a trash can in a visible location for people to place waste.
- With the kids playing outside more frequently in the summer and going to the pool, you will have extra items such as swimsuits and towels to wash. Your washing machine will be used more frequently than normal and that means there is more potential for wear on the hoses. To prevent hose leaks, check the hoses regularly and replace them if you see signs of wear. Consider spending the extra money on a stainless steel hose because they last a lot longer than rubber hoses.
- Kids have a tendency to flush everything imaginable down the toilet and drains. And while they are still out of school for the summer, they are home more frequently and using the toilet more. There is an increased potential that your drains and toilets could clog. Teach your kids to use only a couple of sheets of toilet paper and to flush only toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Speak with them about what should be kept out of the toilet and drains. You can even post signs to remind them. Common clogs are fairly simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional plumber.
- Your sprinkler heads can break over time and with the increased sprinkler usage in the summer, it is a good time to check your sprinkler heads. The other problem with sprinkler heads breaking is when you are mowing the lawn. Be careful mowing around where the sprinkler heads are located and avoid damaging them. Replace them as necessary.
- Warmer sunshine leads to plant growth. As plants extend their roots, you might experience trouble if those roots damage your water and sewer lines. The roots can wrap around the lines or grow through them. You might see signs of trouble when your drains inside the house start to backup. Excessive rain and a ground that is saturated can also cause water and soil to get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up.
If you experience trouble, call a qualified plumber right away. Your plumber might recommend a sewer line replacement if the damage is extensive. While servicing your sewers can help prevent the worst of the problems, installing a drain plug in each drain is a cheap and easy way to prevent water from backing up during storms.