Summer is here, and that means plenty of outdoor fun: lazy afternoons sipping cold drinks and barbecues in the backyard. Most people will be spending their vacations at home due to the coronavirus still being somewhat present. That also means more showers, toilet flushes, and loads of laundry. The additional strain on your home’s plumbing can cause serious issues if you don’t give your home the proper maintenance it needs. We will take a look at the 6 most common summer plumbing problems and what causes them.
Summer is the time when your garden plants will need the most water. You may have watered by hand during the spring, but now’s the perfect time to fire up the sprinkler system. However, a common issue here is damage from long periods of not being used. A good rule of thumb for any seasonal equipment is to give it an inspection before putting it to use. Apply that philosophy to your sprinklers and inspect them for damage:
Heavy rainfall can leave your drains and storm covers backed up and clogged. This is actually one of the most common summer plumbing problems people face, since rain is often associated with spring and fall. The truth is that summer is actually the season with the most rainfall. When you combine blocked drains with the intense summer heat, you can expect a terrible odor coming from your drains. Not to mention that water buildup is the perfect place for insects to nest. Unfortunately, drain blockage isn’t something that you can tackle on your own. Your best course of action is to hire professionals to unclog any backed-up sewage that is stopping your drains from functioning properly.
This one can catch many people off guard, especially if you have recently moved into a new home and don’t know how it reacts to every season of the year. Long-time homeowners will know what every house creak means, and people who live in apartments don’t always know how problematic houses can be to maintain. If you recently transferred to a bigger space, you shouldn’t wait until the winter to inspect the basement and the house’s foundations. Sudden summer rainfall can cause a lot of water to come pouring in a short period. You should check your sump pump and basement for any leaks after every major downpour.
You’ve probably already heard this one, but it bears repeating: Don’t flush everything down the toilet. Summer staycations and kids running around during their school break usually equate to more flushes. A blocked toilet is never good news, but it can be doubly problematic during the summer when people are drinking more water and using the bathroom often. Talk to your housemates about what should and shouldn’t be flushed. Remind them that wet wipes and food don’t go into the toilet. If your toilet is already acting up or needs several flushes to get the job done, it might be a good idea to get that fixed before it escalates into a more severe problem. Blockages don’t just happen overnight, and you can usually see them coming. Our best advice would be to act in time.
Another place where you can’t just chuck anything and everything is the garbage disposal. Summer can be really taxing on the disposal unit. It’s not that people get especially creative during the warmer months; it has more to do with the types of food being consumed. Backyard barbecues mean that garbage disposals get treated to the likes of bones, corn cobs, fruit pits, and melon rinds. Try to remember that none of these should be put in the disposal unit. But people do so anyway, and malfunctions happen every now and then. Instead of reenacting a scene from a horror movie by sticking your hand down the disposal unit, you might want to consider calling a plumber. Another issue that can cause the garbage disposal to stall is pouring excess oil and grease down the kitchen sink. Treat your kitchen properly and separate your trash instead of causing damage to your garbage disposal.
Most people overload their washing machines during the summer. You’ll spend more time outdoors, and due to the heat, you won’t be wearing clothes too many times before washing. Issues with the washing machine are some of the most common summer plumbing problems. However, you should examine the entire laundry room for leaks and problems. Check the washing machine hose for any signs of damage. Make sure that the hose is securely fastened to wherever your machine empties. You can pour some excess water in the same place and see if it is draining correctly.
Don’t worry if you are doing more laundry during the summer; it’s perfectly normal. You could help the washing machine a bit, particularly if you have kids that are up to no good (as most kids are during the summer). If your kids get really muddy, you can hose down their clothes before putting them into the machine. Remember to empty the pockets of all the clothes you put in. With a bit of care, your washing machine will last you a long time.
Although we’ve covered the 6 most common summer plumbing problems, a general piece of advice is to constantly maintain your home. If you see any signs of serious issues, it could be a good idea to give your plumbing a complete overhaul before the condition worsens. Treat your home and its plumbing well, and enjoy your summer.