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With the summer in full swing, it’s time to consider if your plumbing is ready for the hot months ahead. Everyone enjoys summer; it’s a time to relax and spend time with those you love in the heat. The last thing you want to do is worry about calling in a plumber. But, with the kids being out of school, you may find your plumbing is taking a hit with the higher volumes of showers, bathroom trips, and laundry loads. You can avoid unnecessary calls to the plumber with these six crucial summer plumbing tips.
Watch That Garbage Disposal
Summertime brings on many types of new foods and food waste that your garbage disposal isn’t exactly ready for. If you’re grilling or BBQing, never pour grease, oil, or fat down the garbage disposal. These substances are damaging to your garbage disposal. Additionally, fats may be liquid when they’re hot, but they solidify as they cool. As fats run down the pipes, they cool and harden and create a nasty clog in your pipes.
Avoid putting any type of food down your garbage disposal. Despite the name, garbage disposals aren’t built to break down food in your pipes. Summer foods such as cornhusks and watermelon seeds often result in an unscheduled call to the plumber to fix a broken garbage disposal.
Lastly, never add “just add water” foods such as mashed potatoes or stuffing down the garbage disposal. The next time you use your sink and water goes down the drain, these foods can thicken, resulting in severe damage or clogs.
Steps to Take Before Vacation
If you’re planning to take a vacation this summer, it’s best to think of your plumbing before you go.
First, you should turn your water heater temperature down. If your house will be empty while you’re away, it’s a waste of energy to keep your water tank full and hot the entire time. No one will be using the hot water, so turn it down. (Don’t forget to turn it back up when you’re back!)
Next, turn up the temperature of your refrigerator while you’re away. This will help some of your items stay fresh while you’re gone, saving you money in the long run. Note that, depending on how long you’re gone for, you should remove perishable items such as milk, cheese, fruit, meat, and vegetables.
Lastly, consider turning off your water supply to the house if you’re going to be gone for longer than a few days. This will reduce the chances of flooding in your home. The last thing you want to do is have to call an emergency plumber from your sunset paradise.
Check the Sprinkler System
It’s more than likely you will be pulling out your sprinkler system during the summer months, either for the lawn or for the kids. It’s also more than likely that it’s been about a year since you’ve last used your sprinklers. You will want to call a plumber and have them inspect the sprinkler heads for any leaks or damage. A leaking sprinkler head can be wasting water and money without you even realizing it! And, your lawn may turn out shades of brown rather than beautiful shades of luscious green.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to move your sprinklers out of the way every time you mow the lawn!
Washing Machine Tips
In the summer months, loads of laundry tend to pile up faster. The kids are at home, there are bathing suits to wash, and even workout clothing increases. Try to give your washing machine a break by not doing back-to-back loads throughout the day. Stay at home while you run the machine, so you can be there if a problem arises.
It’s also recommended you move the laundry machine away from the wall slightly, as this prevents the machine hose from kinking.
Inspect your washing machine for leaks, cracks, or bulges, and remove the dryer lint regularly from the dryer.
Your washing machine hoses need to be replaced, on average, every three years. We suggest replacing it with a stainless steel hose. They cost more money than the rubber versions but tend to last longer.
If your washing machine hasn’t been inspected for a while, call a plumber for an inspection before you start using it more frequently.
Take Note of Sweaty Pipes
During summer, it’s perfectly normal to see condensation on faucet heads, appliances, and pipes, when cold water runs through or has just been run. As the cool water runs through and interacts with the room-temperature pipes, condensation is temporarily produced.
However, if you notice that condensation seems to be constantly present, it could be a sign of a problem. Large amounts of condensation may result from a leaky faucet, improper main valve adjustment, or a running toilet. Call a plumber to inspect the situation and address any problems.
Toilet Education for the Household
With kids being home for the summer, the toilet is going to be used a lot more. The beginning of the summer break is a great time to remind children and household members on proper toilet etiquette. The only thing to be flushed down the toilet should be toilet paper. Never flush feminine hygiene items, products that claim to be “flushable,” or grease from the kitchen. Remind people that if they need to use a lot of toilet paper, it can be spaced out over two flushes.
This discussion may save you from calling the plumber for an overflowing or backup toilet.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in Houston Heights
For anyone looking for a plumber in Houston Heights, bluefrog is the top choice. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain has been providing services to the Houston Heights community for several years and has earned a reputation for reliable, trusted service. Our plumbers are trained, certified, and professional. We offer plumbing services for everyone; no job is too small! Contact us today to inspect your pipes and drains to make sure you’re completely ready for the summer months.