Summer Plumbing Tips

Ah, sweet summertime. The season of barbeques, baseball, and…backups! Like most Michiganders, there’s probably a direct correlation between the “busyness” of your household and the rise in temperature. More time outdoors, trips to the beach, and weekend cookouts not only keep you up and running, but keep your plumbing system running too. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your summer fun isn’t ruined by pesky plumbing problems:

  • Garbage disposal gunk. Many foods are perfectly safe to send through your garbage disposal, but some are just bad news. Resist the urge to grind large bones or fruit pits. Not only can they dull the disposal’s blades, but they can clog up pipes too. Celery, grape vines, and corn husks can wrap around blades rendering them useless, and potato peels and coffee grounds can create a sludgy mess even the strongest disposal can’t process. Also, avoid putting pasta, rice, or other starchy foods through the disposal as they can expand and clog drains. Finally, avoid pouring grease down the disposal as it too can clog drains over time. 
  • Washing machine woes. Your family may be on summer vacation, but your washing machine isn’t. Make checking machine hoses part of your regular home maintenance plan. Watch for bulges, leaks, or cracks. Also, make sure the washer moved away from the wall approximately four inches to help prevent hose kinks and damage.
  • Sewer backups and stoppages. Thunderstorms and rain showers might be good for thirsty foliage and plant life, but they can spell disaster for your sewer system. Rain water and runoff can seep into sewer pipes through cracks causing backups, especially when coupled with troublesome tree roots. Be sure to call a licensed plumber right away if you notice multiple clogged drains and backed up toilets in your home as this can be a sign of more serious trouble.  
  • Toilet trauma. Summer break often means a houseful of children and frequent overnight guests. Avoid clogs and backups by teaching kids to flush as needed, and to only flush appropriate materials in the appropriate amounts. Keep a quality plunger on hand so when clogs do happen, you can take care of the problem quickly and avoid larger, smellier problems down the road.
  • Outdoor sprinkler, hose, and faucet hassles. Leaky faucets and cracked hoses should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to your home (e.g. leakage behind your home’s siding) and to halt high monthly water bills. Another common problem, inconsistent water pressure, can be resolved to by removing blockage-causing debris and buildup. Finally, make sure outdoor sprinkler systems are operating efficiently by removing grass and debris and flushing them out with a hose as needed.

Regular home maintenance is the key to keeping your home systems running efficiently throughout the year, especially during the busy summer season. Remember to check your indoor and outdoor plumbing system components regularly, and consider enrolling in a home maintenance plan like that offered by Service Professor as a simple way to ensure all your home systems are in proper working order all year long.