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Summer Plumbing Woes: Common Issues to Watch Out For

July 19, 2023

As the temperature rises and summer activities commence, it’s crucial to be aware of potential plumbing problems that can arise during this season. Understanding and addressing these issues promptly can save you from a plumbing disaster. This article will explore the most common plumbing problems in summer and provide valuable tips on prevention and maintenance.

Clogged or Slow Drains: Don’t Let the Fun Go Down the Drain!

Summer is a time for barbecues, gardening, and increased water usage, but it can also lead to pesky clogged drains. Accumulating debris, grease, and food particles can enter the drains, causing clogs and slow drainage. To keep your drains clear, follow these preventive measures:

Use drain covers or strainers: These simple devices catch hair, food scraps, and other debris, preventing them from going down the drain and causing clogs.

Avoid pouring grease down the drain: Instead, let grease solidify and dispose of it in the trash. Grease can harden and create stubborn blockages in your pipes. Save jars so that once the grease/oil has cooled, you have a safe receptacle to pour into.

Periodically flush drains with hot water and vinegar: This helps dissolve buildup and keeps your drains flowing smoothly.

You can use a plunger or drain snake for minor clogs as a DIY solution. However, if the clog persists or is recurring, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and tools to tackle even the most stubborn blockages.

Sewer Line Blockages: Stop Roots from Wreaking Havoc

Tree roots can be a summer plumbing nightmare as they grow faster during this season. They can infiltrate sewer lines, causing blockages and backups. They are attracted to the moisture and nutrients inside sewer pipes. They can penetrate and damage the pipes as they grow, leading to blockages and potential sewage backups in your home. If you have existing trees near your sewer lines, consult with a professional arborist to find the best way to manage root growth.

Slow drains, foul odors, gurgling sounds in the pipes, or sewage backups in sinks, toilets, or bathtubs are signs of a potential sewer line issue. If you notice any of these signs, addressing the problem promptly is crucial to prevent further damage.

Hydro jetting is a powerful technique professionals use to clear sewer line blockages caused by tree roots. It involves using high-pressure water to break apart the roots and clear the pipe. Regular professional inspections and root maintenance treatments can prevent future problems.

Leaky Outdoor Faucets: Saving Water and Money

Outdoor faucets, also known as hose bibs, can develop leaks during summer due to wear and tear or improper winterization. Over time, the seals and washers inside the faucet can deteriorate, resulting in leaks. Freezing temperatures during winter can also cause pipes to crack or rupture, leading to leaks when the faucet is in use.

Check for any visible leaks or drips around the faucet. If you notice leaks, tighten the connections or replace faulty washers. For frozen or burst pipes, it’s best to call a professional plumber to handle the repairs. To prevent leaks and prolong the lifespan of your outdoor faucets, disconnect hoses and drain them before winter, insulate the faucet with a cover or wrap, and regularly check for leaks or damage.

Toilet Turmoil: Handling Bathroom Mishaps

With more guests in your home during the summer, toilets can experience an increased workload and potential problems. More people using the bathroom can lead to clogs, running toilets, or leaks. Remind guests only to flush toilet paper and to avoid disposing of items that can cause blockages.

Clogs can often be resolved using a plunger or a toilet auger. Running toilets may require adjusting the flapper valve or replacing other faulty components. Leaks should be addressed promptly to prevent water waste and damage. Regularly inspect the toilet for any signs of leaks, ensure proper flushing mechanisms are in place, and avoid using excessive toilet cleaners that can damage the toilet components.

You can maintain a smoothly functioning bathroom by educating your guests about proper toilet usage and addressing issues promptly.

Sump Pump Survival Guide: Protecting Your Basement from Summer Storms

Heavy summer rainstorms can overload sump pumps, leading to their failure and potential basement flooding. Sump pumps are designed to remove excess water from the basement, preventing flooding and water damage.

Issues like power failure, stuck floats, or clogged discharge pipes can hamper the functionality of sump pumps. Regularly test your sump pump, clean the inlet screen, and install a battery backup system for protection during power outages. Check the sump pump’s components for proper functioning, including the float switch, discharge pipe, and backup battery. Ensure the sump pump is debris-free and the outlet pipe directs water away from your foundation.

Garbage Disposal Dilemmas: Avoiding Kitchen Nightmares

Summer cookouts often involve food preparation and clean up, putting extra strain on garbage disposals and increasing the likelihood of jams or clogs. Common challenges with garbage disposals during summer: Food scraps, fibrous materials, or grease can cause clogs or damage to the garbage disposal. Avoid disposing of hard items like bones or fruit pits; never pour grease down the drain.

Run cold water while operating the disposal to help flush food particles, cut larger items into smaller pieces before disposing of them, and regularly clean the disposal with vinegar or baking soda to remove buildup and odors. If your garbage disposal gets jammed, use a wrench or an Allen wrench to rotate the blades and dislodge any obstructions manually. Maintain your disposal by avoiding harsh chemicals and scheduling professional inspections as needed.

Embrace a Trouble-Free Summer with Proactive Plumbing Care

Summer plumbing problems can disrupt your enjoyment of the season. Still, with awareness, preventive measures, and timely maintenance, you can minimize the risks and keep your plumbing system in top shape. Remember to address issues promptly, seek professional help, and practice water conservation to make the most of the summer months without plumbing headaches. Stay proactive and enjoy a worry-free summer!

About The Author

Ward Plumbing, Heating & Air

Our mission is to keep you safe and comfortable. Contact us today, and you’ll get a friendly, knowledgeable Western North Carolinian on the other end.

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