Summer Plumbing Problems
While summer tends to mark the emergence of many good things, it can also bring summer-specific plumbing problems. These issues can cause everything from minor nuisances to major problems that require a small fortune to repair.
The good news is that many of these summer plumbing problems can be avoided with the right habits and some preventative plumbing maintenance.
Let’s explore some of the summer plumbing issues that individuals tend to encounter.
- Leaking Washing Machine Hoses – As the weather becomes more favorable, people tend to go outdoors more often. This results in dirtier clothes, which in turn means that washing machine hose issues arise.Check hoses for cracks, breaks and other defects. They should be replaced every three years to prevent problems like leaking and flooding. Washing machines should have four inches of space between the machine and the wall to prevent hose kinking and other damage. Washing machine hose issues can generally be handled by a homeowner unless leaks or other problems persist. A plumber should be called to prevent damage if a hose leak repeatedly develops.
- Sump Pumps – Sump pumps are designed to keep water out of basements and other areas where the water could damage buildings and breed mold. Residents seldom check their sump pumps, which leads to these problems when the first few summer downpours happen.The first thing to do is to test a sump pump. This can be done by lifting the float slightly to see if the pump engages.The second thing to do is to see if the sump pump works when the power is out. A battery backup system will enable sump pumps to continue working even when the power gets knocked out due to a storm.The last thing to examine is to see if the pump adequately drains the area. More water may flow in to basements as the result of dry soil during a downpour. While homeowners can examine some aspects of sump pumps, a plumber should be called yearly to maintain and inspect them.
- Tree Roots – Spring often leads trees to developing new roots, but it is summer when these roots spread everywhere they can. This includes old sewer and water lines.Old PVC, clay and cast iron pipes are susceptible to damage from tree roots. Copper piping has some resistance due to copper’s toxicity to trees, but it can also be affected.If tree roots have been a problem, then consider replacing lines with PEX or new copper piping rather than just clearing tree root blockages.Given the tenacity of tree roots, a plumber should always be called when a resident suspects tree roots as the root of any plumbing problem.
- Condensate Drain Backup – Another major summer plumbing problem resident tend to encounter is backup of air conditioner condensate drains. This may happen due to the blockage of lines with mold, dirt or other debris.While this water can cause an incredible amount of damage, preventing the problem can be done by calling a plumber maintain the drain before the air conditioner is turned on for summer. This routine and preventative procedure can save headaches and money.
- Garbage Disposal Problems – Garbage disposals tend to be the site of many problems due to what residents put down their drains. Many residents believe that garbage disposals can shred any waste, but this is not true.Fibrous plant waste, such as corn husks and melon rinds, tend to be difficult for garbage disposals to grind. These byproducts should be disposed of in the garbage to avoid problems.Another tip to avoid garbage disposal problems is to add small portions slowly to the disposal. After the disposal has been used, let water run for 10 to 15 seconds to clear any excess material.If the garbage disposal ever jams, call a plumber immediately. Trying to fix a jam yourself can be incredibly dangerous to both yourself and your home’s plumbing.
When to Call a Professional
If you have older plumbing, or you have not had your plumbing maintained on a yearly basis, then you should call a plumber to have your plumbing inspected, maintained, and repaired.
Potentially dangerous fixtures, such as garbage disposals, or plumbing requiring intense labor, such as sewer line replacement or tree root problems, are examples of when you should call a plumber. These situations should be handled by an expert due to their innate dangers and potential problems when installed improperly.
Avoiding Summer Plumbing Problems
The common thread of these summer plumbing problems is the fact that these problems can be avoided with the right care and maintenance. This can save you money, time and hassles.
To learn more about how these problems can be avoided by using the services of a plumber, contact us.