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7 Most Common Summer Plumbing Problems
Summer should be a time for fun under the sun, not dealing with plumbing problems. But while Black Friday is the busiest day for plumbers and the winter months can bring frozen pipes, the truth is many homeowners face summer plumbing emergencies. Having the kids out of school and using more water than usual can put a strain on pipes and drains.
Don’t let a plumbing issue give you a case of the summertime blues. Here are seven of the most common summer plumbing problems along with tips to prevent them.
1. Clogged Shower Drain
With family members washing their hair more often in the summer—especially after a dip in a chlorine pool or visit to the beach—don’t be surprised if your shower drain is slow to do its job. It may be clogged with hair, or sand and debris from swimsuits.
To prevent this, brush hair to remove any loose strands before shampooing and shake the sand from bathing suits outside. Use a drain cover to trap hair before it has a chance to become tangled inside the drain, and clean it regularly.
2. Blocked Toilet
Having kids out of school and guests over for summer entertaining means more traffic in your bathroom. As a result, it’s not unusual for toilets to get blocked more often during the summer months. This can create a bathroom that smells like sewage.
You may be able to unclog a toilet yourself using a plunger before calling a plumber. In the meantime, remind children not to flush any objects down the toilet and only use a necessary amount of toilet paper. Buy only highly dissolvable toilet paper, particularly if you have a low-flow toilet.
3. Obstructed Garbage Disposal
Summer means a lot of outdoor grilling and it can be tempting to throw hard food waste such as corn cobs, chicken bones, and melon rinds into the garbage disposal. But as powerful as your disposal is, solid objects can damage your disposal system and clog your sink drain.
Grease and oil are also two of your drain’s biggest enemies, as water can’t mix with them and won’t be able to dissolve them. They also solidify when they cool, creating a further blockage.
Vinegar and hot water may help clear a blocked garbage disposal. You can keep yours operating smoothly by feeding it only soft food waste products that water can carry away, and disposing of used cooking oil and grease properly. Run cold water for a few seconds before and after putting food in your disposal to help prevent blockage.
4. Sewer Line Backups
Water backing up into your bathtub, shower, or toilet is a warning sign that your sewer line has a problem—most likely cracks that have allowed excess water to seep into it. Intense rainstorms that come on in the summer heat can cause rainwater to back up a sewer. If you have a lot of trees on your property, their roots can eventually grow into the sewer line and create cracks.
Unfortunately, there is no DIY homeowner solution for a backed up sewer line. You should immediately call a plumber for sewer and drain cleaning services.
5. Leaky Sprinklers
Your sprinkler system can spring a leak or become clogged from heavy usage during the warmer months. Regularly checking your lawn sprinklers for any leaks or problems can help prevent costly repairs later.
Take care when mowing your lawn that you don’t set the blades so low they damage your sprinklers.
6. Flooded Basement
Flooded basements are a common problem during the summer in homes that easily collect rainwater. Downpours and rainy periods can compound the problem, and a sump pump can become overwhelmed and malfunction from constantly having to remove water.
Picking and installing the perfect battery backup for your sump pump is one way to prevent this problem. If you lose power during a storm, a backup battery will ensure water will continue to get removed from your home.
Make sure your sump pump is big enough for your property. A small sump pump may not be capable of removing water quickly enough from the basement.
Your sump pump also requires regular maintenance to ensure it can keep doing its job season after season. Hire a professional to service it according to your owner manual’s schedule. With proper care, an appropriately sized sump pump can last about ten years.
7. Overloaded Washing Machines
Clothing tends to get dirty and sweaty fast during the summertime, especially if you have kids in the household. Beach trips and other outdoor activities can mean your washing machine is in constant cleaning mode. Overloading it can lead to overflows and blockages.
Keeping your clothing loads small will prevent this problem, but you should also check your washer’s hoses to make sure there’s no kinks or leaks. Pulling the machine away from the wall a bit will help prevent it from overheating.
Should you find your washer malfunctioning you’ll want to immediately shut it off and call a plumber for assistance.
Don’t Let Summer Plumbing Problems Get You Down
Here at Escobar and Sons Plumbing we want your family to enjoy the summer months without worrying about a plumbing malfunction. While many of the above summer plumbing problems are preventable, sometimes even the most handy homeowner needs plumbing help.
For over 30 years we’ve helped maintain and repair plumbing systems for Dallas area home and business owners. If you’ve encountered a plumbing problem, contact us. We’ll respond promptly to your call so you can get back to enjoying your summer days as soon as possible.
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