Summer is the absolute best time to inspect your home’s plumbing and implement any preventative measures, should the need arise. It’s warm outside and there’s plenty of daylight to check out any parts of the plumbing that are outside of the house. Obviously you want your plumbing to be well maintained throughout the year but this is especially true during the Summer months.
The kids are out of school for the summer and are probably at home using more water and flushing toilets more than during the school year, plants need more watering than usual, it’s likely you and your family will be drinking more water, and the list of why more water gets used goes on and on. Let’s take a look at some things that the average homeowner can take care of on their own to ensure Summer plumbing success.
Summer Vacation – Should You Shut the Water Off?
Many families will be going on vacation during the Summer, likely with their house being left unattended. Having a pipe burst or leak isn’t exactly common, but it would be much less catastrophic with the water having been shut off should it actually happen. The location of the main shut-off valve varies depending on the style of home. Contact a plumber for help locating the valve and getting your home vacation ready.
Toilets and Drains Have a Higher Risk of Clogging
Your toilets are much more likely to be used during the Summer months, especially those with kids at home from school. Clogs are much more likely to happen, and there’s no school janitor that can come fix the issue. Make sure you have a plunger now, before you actually need one.
The extra humidity brought on by Summer means that water may linger around or just inside of drains longer than usual. This seemingly insignificant water may bring about extra sediment or ensure that hair doesn’t fully wash down the drain. This is a recipe for clogs. Chemical drain unclogging can corrode your pipes over time and is typically not safe for the environment. A professional drain cleaning will help prevent any Summertime clogs.
Don’t Neglect the Water Heater
The hot water heater certainly won’t be used as much as it normally would during colder months. The lack of constant use makes this a great time to inspect the unit and ensure everything is running properly. Hiring a plumber to come out and flush your water heater and give it a tune up during the Summer months is a wonderful way to save energy by having the heater run more efficiently. Additionally, if something does need to be fixed or repaired, you want to do it during Summer rather than their busy Winter months.
When taking trips away from home for multiple days, you can also save money and reduce wear-and-tear on your water heater by turning it down before leaving. You won’t be home to use up the hot water anyways so there’s likely no need for it to run constantly while you’re away.
You Will Have Increased Laundry During Summer
With everyone in the house sweating more than usual, the kids constantly outside getting dirty with friends or during Summer sports, it may seem like a never-ending supply of dirty laundry is just waiting for you to clean it up. This time of year will often bring extra stress on your washing machine. You should set aside some time to give the machine a break and inspect the hot and cold water hoses for any leaks or dripping water. The average life span of rubber washing machine hoses is around three years. If yours are more than three years old or if you see any leaks or dripping, you should replace your washing machine hoses before it’s too late.
Be Kind to Your Garbage Disposal
Another area that is sure to see extra activity during Summer is going to be the garbage disposal. Whether it’s from kids having their friends over, Summertime barbecues, or pool parties, your disposal will be working a little bit harder than usual. You want to be mindful about what you put down that thing. Fatty stuff, like bacon grease or hamburger meat, and stringy foods, such as a corn husk, can cling to the side and cause clogs over time. Make sure the kids know what they can and can’t put down the disposal as well.
Don’t Be Scared to Contact a Professional
There are plenty of things the average Joe can do to diagnose, treat, or prevent most minor plumbing issues. With that being said, there are also plenty of things the average Joe shouldn’t even attempt to do. Many homeowners will attempt to fix major plumbing issues and end up making things worse. There’s a reason professional plumbers require so much on-the-job training. If you have any plumbing-related issues that need fixing or if you simply don’t feel comfortable following any of the Summertime tips above, you should contact a professional plumber.