6 Summer Plumbing Problems (and How to Avoid Them)
July 20, 2021
Summer is for fun – relaxing, entertaining, traveling and recharging. So don’t let summer plumbing problems spoil this fun time of the year! Here are some common (and preventable) situations to look for and avoid this summer.
1. Outdoor fun = indoor mess.
Whether your summer fun involves hiking trails, ATVs, or sand and surf, it’s a good bet that it comes with some extra dirt or sand. When washing up after your adventures, make sure you keep as much of it out of your drains as possible, so they don’t become clogged or damaged. Instead, hose yourself—and any kids or pets you took with you—off outside and knock the debris from clothes you plan to place in the washing machine. Your drains will thank you!
2. Summer is your sprinkler system’s busiest season.
If you had your sprinkler system inspected after winter’s disuse, then you are a step ahead in keeping it in working order this summer, but there are still a couple things to look out for:
- Watch where you’re mowing. Aboveground sprinkler heads are easily damaged by mower blades.
- Prevent pet damage. Bits of plastic and tubing may be tempting chew toys!
3. Some summer foods don’t agree with your garbage disposal.
Your garbage disposal works hard year-round, but summer can pose some additional challenges.
- Grilling Out? To keep your garbage disposal running at its best, don’t let your guests put bones or fat down it.
- Enjoying summer fruits and vegetables? Fibrous parts, like corn husks and cobs, celery
strings, banana peels and artichokes can jam up your disposal, as well as hard seeds and pits.
4. Is Spot a summer shedder?
Some dogs (and most cats) shed all year, while others grow a bulk winter coat that sheds in late spring/early summer. Whatever your breed’s schedule, you’ll want to prevent all that hair from clogging your pipes and causing backups.
- If possible, avoid bathing a pet in the bathtub. If that’s not possible, make sure to trap fur and debris before it goes down the drain. There are devices on the market that can help with this.
- Brush your pet regularly to reduce the amount of hair that hitches a ride on your clothes and linens and into your washing machine—or into your tub drain during the next bath.
- Pre-rinse especially dirty pets. A fur coat can pick up a lot of gravel, sand and mud!
5. When it rains, it pours—into your basement.
Heavy summer rainfall can overwhelm your gutters and other drainage. Consider these tips:
- Keep your gutters, downspouts and other drainage systems clear of debris.
- Install a Sump Pump to collect and dispel any water that collects in your basement. If you already have one, make sure it is in good working condition.
- Consider having a professional look at your property’s grading. You may need to shift some earth or add more drainage to keep water away from your foundation.
6. Make sure your travel plans include time for plumbing prep.
If you have summer travel plans, make sure your home is ready —especially if you are going to be away for weeks at a time.
- Make sure all indoor and outdoor taps are completely off.
- Arrange to have a trusted friend or neighbor check in on your house and make sure everything is ok.
- Check your water-using appliances for loose or cracked hoses, leaks or other malfunctions.
- Turn your water heater down to its low, pilot or vacation setting. No need to waste energy heating water that won’t be used!
- Empty the dishwasher and washing machine, and leave them open to air. While you’re at it, make sure your garbage disposal and plumbing traps are clean. That way, you won’t be coming home to musty, unpleasant odors.
- If your irrigation system is on a schedule, make sure it will run as desired while you’re away.
- If you’ll be away for an extended amount of time, consider turning off your water main and water heater and draining your pipes and tank.
We hope these tips will help you avoid common summer plumbing problems, but if you do need service or repair, call Eastern Plumbing!