Summertime and the living is easy! Of course, activity actually increases around most homes in the summer months. That’s because the kids are on break and traveling friends and family can show up and stay for several days or weeks to take advantage of Sacramento’s great weather. Of course, this also means that you will use more water and sewage than normal, giving your sewer lines and plumbing a harder workout. Due to this added use, you may notice more frequent sewer problems during the summer months.
Plumbing Tips for Summer
Here’s a look at common summer plumbing problems and how to prepare for your summer plumbing needs.
Toilets and Hand Sinks
The number of people you have in your home affects all aspects of your plumbing system and can cause sewer problems, such as clogged toilets and hand sinks in your bathrooms, as well as clogs in other areas of your home. Excessive toilet paper use can clog your sewer lines. Consider reminding family and guests alike to use smaller amounts of paper to minimize the risk of a clog. Even if you take this step, keep a plunger handy, just in case.
Hand sinks can clog with normal use. Added gobs of hair, and other items dropped into bathroom sinks, can lead to a mess. Not as bad as a clogged toilet, clogged hand sinks will still usually require a plunger. For clogged toilets and sinks that do not respond to a plunger or a drain snake, professional help may be necessary to clear your pipes.
Often, guest bathrooms see minimal use and you may not know you have a plumbing problem until use increases. If you're in this situation, check guest bathrooms before the company arrives to make sure everything is in order. If there's an issue, you will have time to make repairs before your guests arrive. Checking your plumbing annually can help you avoid clogged toilets and sinks!
The shower tends to get more of a workout in the summer months, as some people increase their showering habits to remove the sweat of the day. In addition, there’s all the showering after boat trips and trips to the beach. Speaking of trips to the beach, sand, dirt, and bits of beach debris can lead to slow draining showers. So, try to rinse off outside, or at least brush yourself down, before hopping into the shower.
If you do notice your shower draining more slowly, don’t reach for chemical clog cleaners which can cause more damage. Instead, try to snake your drain. Of course, our Sacramento plumbers can also be of service!
Summertime brings an abundance of fresh vegetables and produce. The waste thrown down your garbage disposal can inundate your system and cause sewer problems. When using your disposal, be sure to run plenty of water through your lines during use to help the waste flow through the sewer lines. Avoid pouring grease and oil down your disposal, as well as potato peels, melon rinds, and other fibrous waste.
A clogged garbage disposal can be plunged when clogged, so do not pour it full of drain cleaner. You need to take care and use the proper procedures so that you do not damage the disposal or your sewer line. If you doubt your ability to clear the clog, call a professional.
Clogged and Faulty Sewer Lines
Tree roots, the age of your pipes, and ground disturbances are the most common causes of sewer line failure. As the days get warmer and rains recede, the ground gets drier, which can cause sewer pipes to shift, causing cracks. The cracks in the pipe allow sediment and roots to penetrate the pipe and can cause clogging and sewage backup in your home.
Common indicators of a clogged sewer line are water that backs up into your bathtub, multiple clogged drains, or a wet spot in your yard that is drawing insects. If you have this situation, you will require sewer repair to fix the portion of your pipe that is faulty, or you may need to replace the entire sewer drain line. This will depend on the condition of your sewer line.
Many homes in Sacramento were built over 100 years ago and may have sewer lines that are made from Orangeburg, cast iron, or clay that have outlived their useful life span. Today's trenchless sewer line repair makes replacement of failed sewer lines much less invasive than digging and replacing the pipe, and won't require tearing up the entire lawn.
In-ground sprinklers commonly have summer plumbing issues. The increased foot traffic from backyard barbecues, kids playing, and lawn maintenance can cause a broken sprinkler head. Sometimes, it’s easy to see a leaking or cracked sprinkler head, but not always. If you see an unusually high water bill, even in the summer when water bills tend to be higher, that could mean you have a leaker sprinkler that needs to be repaired.
Vacations, swimming, running, biking, boating, golfing, and other outdoor activities will increase your amount of dirty clothing. However, it’s important not to overload your washing machine. When you overload your washing machine, you put extra strain on your appliance (plus, because all the clothes are crammed into the drum, they won’t be free to move around and become evenly clean). This strain could cause premature appliance failure, or a hose leak. A hose leak will not only increase your water bill, but it can also flood your home! Luckily, a hose leak in a washing machine is easy to fix for DIYers (read more about fixing a leaky hose) or our local Sacramento plumbers.
Outdoor Faucet Leaks
Despite California water restrictions, outdoor faucets still get used more frequently in the summer. After all, there are cars to be washed, slip and slides to be played on, and more. But once indoors, people have an “out of sight, out of mind” tendency toward their outdoor faucet. That can cost you a lot on your water bill. After all, a leaking faucet can waste up to 90 gallons of water a day. So, make sure that your faucet is sealed tightly to the wall, and that the rubber washer is in good condition.
Summer Plumbing Issues? Contact the Sacramento Plumbing Experts!
Knowledge of your plumbing system, how it works, and the problems that may arise when guests arrive and the family spends more time at home will help you troubleshoot summertime sewer problems. If you have sewer problems that include clogged pipes or leaky pipes, or if you just need an assessment of your Sacramento home, business, or municipal plumbing system, contact us at Express Sewer and Drain for exceptional summer plumbing service!