Summer is a time for sunshine, fun, and making memories. However, it's also a time for increased plumbing issues. Make sure you know the common summer plumbing issues and how to avoid them.
Washing Machine Issues
People tend to do more laundry in the summertime than the winter. If you have children, they're playing outside in the dirt and getting their clothes covered in mud. Many people spend a lot of time at the pool or even running through sprinklers. The increase in towel usage can lead to many more loads of towels being washed each week. The increase in usage means an increase in wear and tear. While you can't help needing to wash muddy clothes, there are things you can do to reduce your washing machine usage. Hang up towels after you use them. Have one towel designated for showers and one designated for the pool; this way you don't wipe pool chemicals on you after a shower. Hang up your towels after every use and use the same one for three or four days. If everyone has a shower and pool towel, you can do a lot less laundry.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
People are more likely to have friends and family over for cookouts during the summertime. The increase in food can cause more issues with your garbage disposal. There are a few things that can raise your chances of clogging your disposal. Putting too much food down it can cause a clog. Overuse is another reason. The blades can wear over time, and dull blades won't break the food down properly. Finally, foods that clump and swell cause serious garbage disposal issues. These foods include:
- Coffee grounds
- Rice and pasta
- Fibrous foods (e.g. celery, onion skins)
There are things you can do to reduce your chances of a garbage disposal clog. Don't put food down the garbage disposal when you don't have to. Clearing your plate into the disposal puts too much food down it. Clear your plate into the trash like normal, and use the garbage disposal for the bits of food that are left on your plate.
Leaky & Clogged Toilets
Another problem that can occur during the summer is leaky and clogged toilets. When children are home from school on summer vacation, toilets are being used more often during the day. The increase in flushes means an increase in potential problems. If you have very young children, make sure they know the proper amount of toilet paper to use when they wipe. Purchasing flushable wet wipes can help, because they get you cleaner with one wipe.
Outdoor Faucet Leaks
You use your outdoor faucets the most during the summer, so you have a larger chance of leaks occurring. One common reason for leaks occurring is because turning the faucet off and on constantly can wear the washer down. If this happens, you can change out the washer to stop the leak. To replace the washer, you need to turn off the water to the spigot. Once the water is off, unscrew the packing nut under the handle with a pair of pliers. Use lubricant if you can't get it to loosen on your own. Unscrew the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a new one. Screw the packing nut back on the same way you pulled it off and your leak should be fixed. You can reduce the wear and tear on the washer by getting a spray nozzle for your hose. With the spray nozzle, you can leave the hose on longer. For example, if you are washing your car, you probably turn the hose off every time you set it down so you don't waste water and flood your lawn. With the spray nozzle, you can keep it on until you're done.
Summertime can be hard on your plumbing. Make sure you take precautions to reduce wear and tear so you can get through the summer without any plumbing emergencies. If you do have plumbing issues, however, contact a plumbing company such as Roto-Rooter Sewer & Drain Service.