Summertime brings warm weather, children home from school, and many planned events with family and friends. In preparation for these activities, it is the wise homeowner who readies their home to accommodate the increased number of visitors and to ensure their home remains a safe, and comfortable space for everyone.
There are many factors to consider but probably the one most important to your guests is to make certain your plumbing system is in good order. The increased activities can lead to extra wear and tear and plumbing emergencies.
In this article, we will examine the parts of your plumbing system most vulnerable to summer activities such as outdoor plumbing, showers, toilets, and heavily used appliances. We will learn the risks that can affect these fixtures as well as the proactive steps you can take to ensure a safe and fun summer!
Long winters can leave outdoor plumbing and need of attention. The first place to inspect is the hose bibs in your yard. Replace leaky, hard-to-open, or worn-out bibs and change the washers in the hoses for a drip-free spigot.
Sprinkler systems are another plumbing system feature that needs inspection in the summer months. Dirt and grass clippings tend to clog the sprinkler heads preventing irrigation and lawnmowers can damage the retractable heads so inspect these as well. Look for pooling water in the yard as it may indicate a broken water line in the sprinkler system.
Another outside precaution can be taken using a store-bought pressure gauge. This inexpensive item can be attached to your outside spigot to measure your home’s water pressure. With expected higher water usage, it is important to keep your water pressure at a consistent and acceptable level.
High water pressure can lead to pipe erosion, leaking, or burst pipes. Low water pressure can be just as problematic from an annoyance all the way to indicating serious sewer line issues.
A visual inspection of all exposed plumbing is a wise step toward a healthy plumbing system. Any leaks from pipes, faucets, shower heads, and toilets should be repaired promptly as a running toilet can waste up to one gallon of water per hour and a dripping faucet can reach one gallon per day. All leaks should be identified and repaired promptly.
The hot water heater will also be working overtime with additional showers needed for summertime activities. Scheduling an annual hot water heater flush in early summer will remove sediment that has settled in your storage tank as a result of the minerals commonly found in hard water. This will improve your water quality and extend the life of your heater.
Another tip is to reduce the temperature of the water in your water heater by a few degrees. This will help save money while still producing adequate amounts of water for your guests and family.
The kitchen Is an important location where many plumbing problems originate. Most are related to poor disposal habits by family members and guests where fats, oils, and grease, hard-to-grind foods, and other unwanted items find their way into the garbage disposal. Educating your guests on proper disposal methods will help keep your pipes clean and reduce the likelihood of harsh drain clogs.
The bathroom will certainly be overburdened during the summer months with the frequent use of showers and the universal but unwelcome use of the toilet as a trash can. Beware that many items labeled flushable should not be flushed as they can collect in the sewer line causing serious plumbing blockages. Oily bath products easily combine with hair to line your drain pipes with a water-restricting soap scum mess causing drains to empty slowly.
With regard to slow drains, beware if more than one drain in your home seems to be affected. When multiple drains are performing poorly you can be certain your sewer line is damaged and not permitting wastes to exit your home properly.
A final word about indoor plumbing. Leaking pipes are a real concern during the summer months. Pipes that are heavily stressed, especially aging pipes in older homes, can spring a leak that is small and hidden from view. Undetected leaks can saturate areas behind walls and create the ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth or can damage the infrastructure of your home.
Perhaps even worse are leaks that are apparent as they can flood the basement, stain walls and ceilings, and leave soaking-wet carpets in their wake. Leaks are best controlled and their impact is lessened if everyone in the home understands where and how to use the shut-off valve.
Having A Plumbing Problem In Oklahoma?
As we negotiate the summer months and the increases in activities and guests, it is best to keep an eye on your plumbing system and be aware of the various ways the extra wear and tear can lead to plumbing problems. Plan to have your Oklahoma plumber inspect and run routine maintenance tasks to keep your system running smoothly and to identify problems early before they turn into plumbing emergencies.
Educate your guests and family members about the proper care of your plumbing fixtures and instill good plumbing habits early in the summer. A well-cared-for plumbing system will ensure a care-free, safe, and enjoyable summer!
If you are in need of plumbing services in Oklahoma, we are available 24/7! Just contact us or book online to schedule an appointment today!