The season of barbecues, baseball, and…backups! Like most Michiganders, there’s a direct correlation between the “busyness” of your household and the increase in temperature! After these past few months at home, we are all ready to get outside! More 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 make sure your summer fun isn’t ruined by pesky plumbing problems:
Summer Plumbing Tips
- Garbage disposal gunk. Should you toss it? If you’re questioning it, it might be best to just throw it out. Although most foods we can trust our garbage disposals to get rid of, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 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, grapevines, 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. Keep in mind that starchy foods like rice, pasta can expand and clog drains! Finally, avoid pouring grease down the disposal as it too can clog drains over time. Instead of pouring it down the drain, keep a jar handy under your sink that you can drain it in, when its full, empty out your jar in the trash and start new! Waste not want not!
- Washing machine woes. Your family may be on summer vacation, but your washing machine isn’t. In fact, its working overtime! Large loads are making their way to the laundry room as we speak. 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. Rainwater 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. Roots are no fun for anyone!
- Toilet turmoil. Summer break often means a houseful of children and frequent overnight visitors! You can be proactive and 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. Yuck! Make sure it’s a toilet plunger, not a sink plunger! And as always, only flush TOILET PAPER!
- 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. Following a long West Michigan winter, it’s good to do some routine checks on our outdoor fixtures. Another common problem, inconsistent water pressure, can be resolved 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!