Water systems can experience small problems that can be fixed by a simple plunger or bigger problems that might need the help of a submersible dirty water pump. Whatever the weather, keep your plumber’s phone number handy just in case. Here are seven common summer plumbing problems and what you can do about them.
1. Washing Machine Overload
Summer fun can put a strain on your washing machine and your pocket. The more washing you have, the harder your washing machine has to work. Stick to small loads to avoid blockages that can lead to messy overflows. Regularly check the hoses to and from your machine for leakages or kinks. Consider shifting your washing machine out from the wall a little to reduce the risk of overheating.
2. Summer Plumbing Line Backups
Summer brings with it sudden heavy showers that can be bad news for your sewer line. Rain soaks into the dry ground, bringing with it loose soil that gets in through small cracks in your pipes, causing blockages. Tree roots can also get into the sewage system, making small cracks larger. Call your plumber if you have water backing up in your toilet or bath.
3. Clogged Garbage Disposal
Summer brings out the barbecue and casual outdoor dining. They bring with them a host of food scraps that shouldn’t go down the garbage disposal. Bones, corn cobs, melon rinds and stones from fruits such as nectarines and apricots don’t belong in a garbage disposal unit. Oil and grease from cooking can also cause clogs in your disposal system. TIP: Let the cold tap run for about ten seconds before and after you use your garbage disposal to avoid blockages.
4. Slow-Clearing Shower Drains
While a trip to the beach is fun, your shower can suffer when you all get home. Sand, shells, and pebbles get caught up in bathing suits at the beach and empty out in the shower, blocking the drain. To avoid ankle-deep water pooling in your shower, get the kids to rinse off at the beach in the public showers and take off their bathing suit before they get in the shower. Keep an eye on the drain cover, and regularly remove hair that will trap the bits and pieces from the beach.
5. Sprinkler Problems
Automatic sprinklers can show signs of wear and tear after a break from use. Lawnmowers are especially unforgiving on sprinkler heads when you’ve been mowing over the winter. Check your heads for damage and your hoses for small leaks that will waste water when you most need it over the summer. You should be able to get replacement parts at your local hardware store.
6. Blocked Toilet
Everyone’s worst nightmare is a blocked toilet, especially when the family is all at home for the summer. Remind the kids to use only as much toilet paper as is necessary, and things like food and baby wipes should not be flushed! Keep a plunger on hand to deal with small blockages, and your plumber’s number handy for bigger emergencies. Here is a list of things you should never flush down the loo.
7. Sump Pumps
If you’ve got a basement or cellar that is prone to flooding, you’ll probably have a sump pump. Remember that it also rains in summer, sometimes in heavy, unexpected downpours which can quickly turn into a flooding problem. Make sure your pump is still in good working order after a winter of use to ensure you avoid summer drama.
Don’t let summer plumbing problems ruin your summer holidays. A bit of attention and care can stop problems from occurring at a time when you should be relaxing with your feet up. Contact your plumber for advice and support with summer maintenance. And, of course, Anchor Pumps is here all year round for all your specialist pump needs.
Luke Cooper is the General Manager of the Cooper Green team and son of Gary Cooper, owner and CEO of Cooper HVAC. After years in the field, Luke took his talents to management and has helped thousands of Colorado homeowners during hot summers and frigid winters. His decade of experience in the field and guiding the company makes him one of the most knowledgeable individuals in Colorado on HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other home services.