Photo By Eric Francis at Shutterstock
Summer’s here, full of sun and warm weather. It’s perfect weather for kids to run through the sprinkler and fight with water guns and homeowners just like you to water their lawn and plant new flowers. In fact, your sprinkler may be the only part of your plumbing that you’re thinking about this summer but be careful. There are 5 important things that you need to do for your plumbing this summer to avoid a costly emergency plumbing repair.
Turn Your Water Heater Down
When it’s hot outside, the last thing most people want is a hot shower! You can save money on your energy bills (and use that money to run your air conditioner) and reduce the wear and tear on your traditional or tankless water heater.
This is a good time to check your water heater for leaks and ensure that the electrical components are working smoothly. Traditional water heaters can, over time, develop little pin-sized holes in the tank, which causes tiny leaks. The hot temperature of the tank evaporates these little leaks before many homeowners notice them, and you may not realize you have a worn-out water heater until it becomes a disaster that needs plumbing repair. Check the drain beneath it and have a plumbing repair specialist check your heater and advise you whether it’s time to replace it.
The average lifespan of a traditional (tank) water heater is about 10-15 years. After that, it’s just a waiting game until yours breaks down. Tankless water heaters can last much longer, as long as the electrical parts are in good repair.
Check Your Sprinklers
Many people check to make sure that their sprinklers are working at the beginning of summer but inspecting the in-ground sprinkler heads regularly can prevent leaks that can damage your yard. Summer means extra mowing, and a lawnmower can easily nick a sprinkler head or two, causing a need for plumbing repair.
Plus, leaking sprinklers wastewater and can, unchecked, cause the grass to drown and die. If you live in an area with water restrictions, such as California and the southwest, you may find yourself in trouble with your municipality or HOA for sprinklers that won’t shut off.
Pay Attention to Your Garbage Disposal
Grilling out is one of the best things about summer for many people, and food like corn on the cob, watermelon, and barbecue meats are all popular. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly put these stiff, stringy leftovers down the garbage disposal, which can lead to the need for plumbing repair in your sink.
The teeth of your garbage disposal are small and made to grind up small pieces of food that escape into your kitchen sink. Plus, your pipes are made to flush water away, not water and large chunks of food. Over time, these pieces of food can get stuck, especially in the P-trap (u-shaped pipe portion beneath the sink) and cause large clogs that need a plumbing repair company to remove.
Instead, put all large food trash in the trash can or compost heap, and avoid putting cooking grease down the drain. Grease solidifies as it cools and can catch the food chunks that go down the drain, making larger clogs. Other things that the plumbing repair techs at bluefrog will tell you to keep out of the sink are coffee grounds, banana peels, and eggshells.
Have All Your Pipes Inspected for Leaks
Summertime is a better time to have your pipes inspected for leaks, worn spots, and loose seams. Pipes in the ground are easier to access when it’s not cols, and fixing pipes now can reduce your risks of having burst pipe when the temperatures drop to freezing.
Start outside, looking at your outdoor spigots for tiny drips and leaks. Work your way inside and look at all the pipes in your home. Check for damp spots under your counters that can indicate a slow leak and make sure each faucet it screwed on tightly.
Preventative maintenance of your water pipes, by a plumbing repair professional, includes checking the condition of all your faucets and showerheads, plus making sure that each joining of your pipes is sealed. A plumber uses a tiny camera to look inside your pipes, even those that are in the walls, to look for places where a leak can cause mold or mildew to form.
Check Your Sewage System
It’s not just the pipes in the house that can develop damaging leaks and a call for emergency plumbing repair. You may notice bright green spots in your lawn – but unfortunately, those probably aren’t the result of a green thumb but rather a sewer pipe leak outside. Indoors, sewer problems are most noticeable in the basement, as all the drains will begin seeping at once. In the bathroom, noticing that all the drains are backed up, from the sinks to the tub, is another sign that there’s a big clog in one of the main sewer pipes.
If you have a sump pump, now is the best time to have that inspected, also, to make sure it’s working properly. Summer can also bring summer storms, and if you live in a flood-prone area, having a working pump makes a big difference in the condition of your home.
Tree roots can put pressure on outdoor pipes, both water and sewer, which is something that a professional plumbing repair service can check. You may wish to reconsider your landscaping if you’re having chronic sewer pipe issues.
Preventative maintenance can help avoid sewer issues. Don’t flush anything that’s “unflushable” such as paper towels, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products. Even the “flushable” personal wipes aren’t constructed to break down in the city sewer system the way toilet paper is.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for All Your Plumbing Needs
The team at your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is ready to work for you, from preventative maintenance packages to emergency repairs. Save the number for your local bluefrog in your smartphone and visit us online to learn more about our plumbing services and tips to keep your home running smoothly. We can’t wait to hop to work for you!