While plumbing emergencies can strike at any time of the year, there are certain types of problems that are especially common during the summer. Many of these issues are due to children being home during the day, which can lead to overuse of certain fixtures. Also, appliances such as washing machines tend to get more of a workout. Here are some examples of typical summertime plumbing problems and what you can do to minimize the chances you’ll have to deal with them.
When the kids are home, naturally, the toilet gets used much more often. In order to reduce the risk of potentially troublesome and expensive clogs, make sure you tell everyone to be careful about the amount of toilet paper they should use. Also, remind your children never to flush anything that should not be flushed, such as small toys or other items. Taking some time now to talk about these things could help prevent serious issues from occurring.
2. Outdoor Faucet Leaks
You may not have used your outdoor faucet for several months, so check your faucet thoroughly when turning it on for the first time. Look closely for any signs of leaks around your home before you use that faucet for washing your car or filling your pool. If you don’t perform this check and you leave that faucet on for several minutes at a time, there is a chance you could do some serious damage.
3. Sewer Lines
If you are in an area that tends to get a lot of summertime thunderstorms, that could result in a backup of your sewer lines. In addition, tree roots can invade those lines and cause a major obstruction. Have a plumber give this part of your plumbing system a thorough once-over to see if there are any signs of problems.
4. The Garbage Disposal
With your children eating at home more during the summer, the garbage disposal will very likely get additional use. Do not let anyone in the home try to put items such as fibrous vegetables, starchy foods, hard fruits, etc. in the disposal. These items can cause clogs or potentially even burn out the motor.
5. Look for Yard Leaks
If you see standing water in your yard, you may simply assume it is from the last time you used your sprinkler system. However, if that pool of water does not go away, that is a sign you could have a leaking sewer line or pipeline. Call a professional at the first sign of trouble so that you can minimize any potential damage to your plumbing system as well as the structural integrity of your home.
Speaking of your sprinkler system, make sure you clear the sprinkler heads of any debris — not only the first time you turn it on but also periodically afterward. This will help reduce the chances that a clog could harm the system. Also, double-check to make sure all of the heads are down before you mow the lawn so you don’t accidentally clip one with the blade.
6. The Washing Machine
Active kids during the summer means additional use of the washing machine due to dirt and grass stains. Before you start putting those extra demands on the appliance, take some time to make sure it is in proper working order. Look for any ruptures or bulges in the hoses so you don’t run the risk of a flooded laundry room.
These are just a few of the ways that you can reduce the risk of having to deal with the stress and expense of plumbing emergencies in the summer. Contact your local plumber to learn more about how to keep your system working hassle-free.
Tom Mascari is the President of Mendel Plumbing & Heating. For 30 years, Mendel has developed a reputation for expert customer service and technical performance. They are a St. Charles, IL based company that provides plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical services to commercial and residential buildings in the Fox Valley area. Mendel also specializes in residential air duct sealing, remodeling and maintenance services.