Summer is an exciting and fun time for all. Kids are out of school which means lots of outdoor activities such as taking vacations, going swimming, bike riding, playing ball, summer barbecues and gatherings with friends.
All of these activities mean increased traffic in your home, including many more flushes of the toilet, loads of clothes to wash and dishes to clean. You will probably use the water hose more in the summer to fill pools, water flowers and the law. And many people take more showers during the summer months.
With all of this going on, we sometimes forget to question whether the home’s utilities are ready for all the extra summer traffic. Plumbing remains as one of the most important of those utilities because the pipes and pumps that brings water to us and sends it away are essential to basic sanitation and nutrition.
Trouble with the pipes can range from common and simple, to unusual and complex:
- Running toilet
- Clogged toilet, garbage disposal or drain
- Leaky faucets or spigots (often need an O-ring)
- Low/declined water pressure
- Loose toilet or sink
- Incorrect grade of drain pipes
- Improper support of pipes, which sometimes makes a hammering noise
- Pipes to outside not sealed sufficiently
- Water heater fails, leaks or does not heat
- Pipes burst or crack
- Pipes will not flow due to obstruction
There are many proactive and preventative plumbing measures you can take to prepare for summertime so you can enjoy the warm weather instead of worrying about leaks, clogs, low pressure and other plumbing problems. No matter the concern, it is best to figure it out early before it becomes a big, expensive problem.
Start your summer by going through this check list:
1. Get to Know the Main Water Valve.
It is always good to know where the main water shutoff to your home is located and how to use it. Some homes have a shutoff valve within the structure, such as the basement, garage or utility closet. Others have one outside in the yard or near the water main in the street, curb or sidewalk. You can also consult a plumber during your next call and ask them to show you where it is.
2. Pinpoint the Pressure.
With all the activity that your shower, washer and other utilities will see in a summer season, it is even more important to maintain good water pressure. You can check and measure the household water pressure with a store-bought gauge that you attach to an outside spigot. Generally, the household standard is 40-45 pounds per square inch.
3. Watch the Washer.
Start your summer with a springtime inspection of the washer and all its parts. Pull it away from the wall and check the connections and appearance of the hoses and replace those that are cracked or look distressed.
4. Check Sprinkler Systems.
Check sprinkler systems thoroughly for leaks — plus, inspect and clean the sprinkler heads at the beginning of the season. If you find any that are broken, not working, rusted or damaged, you can remove the head and replace it.
5. Save Water, Save Money.
Dripping water at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water in one year. Some ways to conserve water are lather hands with the water off, turn water off when you brush your teeth, soak dishes rather than scrubbing dishes with water running, wash the car at a car wash and when buying new appliances, choose Energy Star that signifies efficiency.
6. Consider the Code.
Each project, repair, remodel, etc. that involves plumbing must be done to a certain code of standards, whether you live in a city or rural township. States usually set the code and licensed plumbers know and adhere to it.
Call Eastern Plumbing to help you get ready for summertime and remember, good plumbing makes for a happy summer!