Summer Plumbing Tips

Summer is finally here. Hooray! Oorah! (for my marines out there). The kids are out of school, the weather is nice and toasty, and life is fun, fun, fun. We all know that summer is a great time of year. But, as with all things, the fun must be enjoyed responsibly. No, I am not talking about excessive partying, this isn’t Budweiser. I am talking about staying on top of your residential plumbing. Aside from the excitement it brings, summer can be a major downer if a plumbing related problem occurs. That is why preventative measures are so important.

So, in the summer, what can you do to ensure the safety and well-being of your home’s plumbing?

For starters, let’s take a look at what not to do.

1) Many people enjoy working in their gardens during the summer. It is a therapeutic experience — or, so I’ve been told. If you enjoy gardening, or are simply a person that waters their outdoor flowers on a regular basis, then this tip is for you. Make sure that, while you water, you don’t yank on the hose. For one thing, it can stress the hose, which might then cause a tear. But, the main reason — and believe me this happens more times than you may think — is that yanking on the hose can actually break or disengage the hose bib. If that were to happen, you would have quite the mess on your hands. Without a shut-off valve (yours would, at that point, be on the ground in shambles), water flows freely and chaotically, causing a huge mess and a big repair bill. So, to all of my gardeners out there, be careful.

2) The next plumbing related issue deals with grass and the need to cut said grass. Yes, I am talking about the infamous lawnmower, the spinning guillotine on wheels. Everyone enjoys a well-manicured lawn, but, while cutting your grass, you need to be weary of what you’re riding over. If you have a sprinkler system, you don’t want to accidentally pulverize one of the sprinkler heads. Or, if your yard clean out drain is elevated above ground level (depending on how the builder left it), you need to be careful not to run that over. Just remember, while riding your lawnmower, keep your eyes on the lawn and those hands at ten and two.

I think that covers what absolutely not to do. Now, let’s take a look at some preventative tips you might not know.

1) If you and your family are planning a lengthy summer vacation ( > 1 week), then you should consider cutting off your home’s water meter. I know this might be a hassle, but it is a safe move. If you went on vacation, neglected to cut off your meter, and a pipe busted in your home, then you would have quite the flood upon your return (better call Noah). Just make sure that when you decide to cut off your water meter, you also cut off your water heater (only applies for electrical water heaters, as gas water heaters automatically turn to vacation/pilot mode). If you forget this step, you won’t have a flood in your home, but possibly a fire.

2) Some other summer plumbing issues are by-products of the seemingly ever-present afternoon shower. An excess of rain water can actually cause a sewer line backup. Small cracks within the sewer line are vulnerable to the rain water. Also, the large amounts of water ensures the growth and health of tree roots. This is a problem because roots can enter underground pipes, which can slow water flow, or worse, prevent it. Make sure to inspect your sewer lines regularly. Actually, on second thought, that’s why we’re here. Just give us a call.

3) The next tip deals with your garbage disposal and washing machine. Let’s examine the garbage disposal issue first. With all of the cookouts, celebrations, and swimming pool get-togethers, the summer is very brutal towards your disposal. To preserve its life and efficiency, you should always be very conscientious of what you put down there. The garbage disposal is not as durable as you may think. Avoid placing large or fibrous items down the drain, and always run cold water for a few seconds before and after you turn on the disposal. With regards to the washing machine, because there is a dramatic increase in outdoor activities during the summer, clothes need washing that much more. To keep that washing machine in tip-top shape, regularly inspect the various hoses, keeping an eye out for any bulges or kinks in the line. These preventative measures will help preserve the life expectancy of your appliances.

Keep these tips in mind for the summer months, as they might end up saving you money. Should you already have a problem that is beyond the scope of this article, contact Jordan & Sons today.