School’s out, the weather is heating up, and now you have to deal with summer plumbing problems.
Plumbing issues probably aren’t the first things that enter your mind when you think about summertime. But they are something for which you want to prepare. And we want to help you prepare by helping you spot potential troubles and giving you the tools to solve them.
Summer Plumbing Problem #1: Clogged Garbage Disposal
A clogged disposal can be a problem at any time of year, but the risk increases with warmer weather. Why? Family cookouts, holiday gatherings, pool parties, and barbecues all involve food. And it’s easy to just dump leftovers down the drain as you’re rinsing your plates for the dishwasher.
But items like watermelon rinds and corn cobs can damage the blades in your disposal. And that leads to clogs since the blades can no longer do their job.
Are you making fries in a deep fryer to go along with those burgers and hotdogs? Or maybe you have to use a skillet to cook on instead of the grill while it’s raining. Pouring used grease and oil down the drain can damage your disposal and settle in the pipes where it can cause a clog.
The easiest remedy is to not dump food or grease down the disposal in the first place. Scrape as much leftover food particles as possible into the garbage before rinsing your plate. Used grease and oil should be emptied into sealable containers and disposed of.
If you accidentally discard food into the sink and it falls down the drain, run cold water with the disposal on to clear the system.
Summer Plumbing Problem #2: Backed Up Sewer Line
As we’ve seen, the Greater Cleveland Area and the rest of Northeast Ohio is inclined to summer rain and thunderstorms. And when we get storms, it tends to be a lot at once. When that happens, the exaggerated rain can seep into your sewer pipes through any cracks and cause a backup.
Tree roots are another culprit. Spring and early summer – when the ground is warm again – is root growing season. As we discussed in our post about sewer line maintenance, tree roots have a tendency to wrap around pipes and crack them. So while they provide much-needed shade from the blazing summer sun, they can also cause major problems for our plumbing.
Make it a point to have your sewer lines checked regularly. Companies like Killeen Plumbing can send a camera through the line to scan for any potential issues and solve them before they get worse, causing you added money in repairs. Also, consider adding a drain plug in each drain – that can help water from backing up during heavy rains.
If you’re past that point and are already seeing concerns such as your toilet backing up into the shower, it’s important to contact us right away. Depending on the level of damage, a sewer line replacement may be required.
Contact Killeen Plumbing today for any emerging issues.
Summer Plumbing Problem #3: Washing Machine Issues
Having children home from school means baseball/softball uniforms, bathing suits, beach towels, and just general added laundry. So your washing machine is going to get added exercise this time of year.
The added loads of laundry put more stress on your machine, so problems can arise more quickly.
If you’re able, put a little added space between the washing machine and the wall. This should help to discourage the drain hose from kinking up. Check the hose, as well, to make sure there aren’t already any leaks. If there are, consider spending a little extra on a more durable hose like a stainless steel one. They cost a bit more up front, but they last longer than their rubber counterparts.
You should also stay home during washing cycles. That way if a problem develops, you can stop the machine right away and call a plumber.
Summer Plumbing Problem #4: Clogged Toilets
Aside from added laundry, having the kids home for summer vacation also means more trips to the bathroom. And not all of those trips are necessary. Younger children can be adventurous and experimental, especially when adults aren’t looking. And of course, they can also make honest mistakes through lack of experience.
Kids are prone to using much more toilet paper than necessary. Give them a quick lesson on how much is appropriate, and that should keep any uncalled-for clogs and overflows from happening. Also, make sure they understand that they should only flush after they use the bathroom. And keep any flushable objects out of the reach of curious children. If your kids are old enough to read but young enough to get creative with their flushing abilities, put up signs near the toilet to remind them what does and doesn’t get flushed. For teenage girls, make sure they understand that feminine product do not go down the toilet, ever.
Clogs from a little excess toilet paper are easy to fix with a plunger, so make sure you have a good one on hand. But if something more valuable has found its way down the septic line, or if the clog becomes unmanageable, it’s time to call a professional.
Summer Plumbing Problem #5: Sprinkler Damage
In areas such as Cleveland, our landscaping can be very important to us. And that includes our lawns in particular. Many of us like to keep them lush and green, and that often means we have sprinkler systems installed. But one of their best features can also be their worst: they’re practically invisible. So they become easy targets for lawn mowers. Sprinklers broken by lawn mowers waste water which drives up your energy bill.
They also get dirty during the winter, and that dirt can lead to clogged heads. If the head is clogged up, the water won’t reach the areas you want.
Inspect and clean all sprinkler heads which may be embedded in the lawn. Afterward, evaluate them while they’re running to make sure there are no clogs.
When you’re mowing, be sure to be cautious near lowered sprinkler heads. Mower blades can greatly damage them. If you do happen to catch any, make sure you replace them right away.
Following these tips can help you have a stress-free summer with your plumbing system. And if you still find yourself in the midst of some trouble, Killeen Plumbing is only a phone call away.