Home Improvement Tips & Advice Provided by the Home Service Doctors

Summer Drains: What to Know About Preserving Your Plumbing

Summer is a busy time for families. Kids are out of school, they have friends over, and summer is the time for picnics and barbecues. This means more people using the toilet, putting food down the garbage disposal, and using more water in general. That extra use adds up to put more strain on the plumbing, but human use isn’t the only culprit. The weather can cause problems too. From the garbage disposal to the sewer line, there are issues that can start small and turn into something really big really quickly.

Plumbing Issues to Watch Out For in Summer

Expanding pipes

It’s not uncommon for things to contract in the cold, and expand in the heat. But, you may be surprised to know that both plastic and metal pipes have the potential to expand in the heat. The creaks and groans that you may year in a house – “the house is settling” sort of noises, might actually be the pipes expanding a little if you hear it in the summer

Cold water that doesn’t get or stay cold

During the summer months, you may notice that your cold water isn’t as cold as it should be. This is often caused by hot-cold crossover and is a fixable problem. It might even be a do-it-yourself kind of fix if you’re confident in your skills.

Clogged garbage disposals

Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant in the summer. Kids are home and throwing more stuff into the sink and garbage disposal. There’s more chance with increased use that your disposal could clog up. That chance also increases with summer cookouts and barbecues because people might drop things down the disposal that don’t actually belong there. Along with increased use, there may be times when people forget to run it periodically to clear out whatever might be inside.

More traffic at home = Drain Strain!

Like the garbage disposal, the toilet can clog with increased use. With kids home for summer or vacation time being utilized, your plumbing may see more traffic. If children are small, they may be prone to using more toilet paper than necessary or dropping things down the toilet that shouldn’t be there.

Sewer line backups

When you have more people using the toilet and shower during the summer and more laundry to do, this puts more stuff through your sewer line. But, summer thunderstorms and tree roots can also cause problems, as the storms put excess rain into the system, and tree roots can lead to breaks in the lines underground.

Filling the Pool

You invested in your swimming pool to enjoy, but be aware that summer time has a tendency to make your bills climb as you drop the hose into the pool to top it off. Be sure you’re not piping your water-heated water into your pool or you could be doubling your expenses!

Solving Summer Plumbing Problems

Each of the plumbing issues mentioned above can be fixed. Some are easy for a homeowner, but others really should be done by a professional plumber.

  1. To Protect your Home from Expanding Pipes

If you hear rattling in your pipes, you should call a plumbing professional. This indicates that the pipes may be hitting each other and causing damage as they react to the heat and humidity changes that come with summer. If you hear a creaking here and there without the rattling noise in the pipes, you’re probably okay. This sort of expansion is normal and doesn’t cause problems if the pipes have been installed with the right amount of space between them.

  1. To Fix the Cold Water That Turns Hot

Hot-cold crossover happens in a couple of different areas of the sink and plumbing. If you have a heat recirculating system, then there may be a problem in the recirculating manifold and it may need to be replaced. There may be an issue in the faucet itself, or at the hot water heater. This one is one that a professional can easily take care of.

  1. To Avoid a Clogged Disposal

There are things that should not go into a disposal, including some of the common summer fruits and vegetables, like watermelon rinds, corn cobs, and grease or oil. These items can damage the bl9ades of cause gunk to build up in the plumbing, which leads to drain issues. Also, running cold water as you run the disposal (and for a few moments afterward) can help to clear the debris.

  1. To Avoid a Clogged Toilet

First, tell the children in your household to keep things that don’t belong there out of the toilet. Using smaller amounts of toilet paper, and only flushing when there’s something to flush can help. If your toilet clogs often, it may be a sign of an issue in the pipes or in the sewer line.

  1. Avoiding Sewer Line Backups

This one shows up as backflow of sewer into the toilet and drains. Frequent toilet clogs are also a sign that there are issues in the sewer line. This is not a do-it-yourself fix. A plumbing pro can look inside the pipes and get an idea of what needs to be done. Call a plumber if you suspect have a blockage in the sewer line.

Home Service Doctors and the Sewerologist are here to help you navigate all of your drain and sewer needs. Call us today!