Summer Plumbing 101: 7 Preventative Maintenance Tips You Need to Know
Posted By Advanced Plumbing Drains & Heating
Summer is the time to relax, unwind, have fun, and enjoy the sun. However, an ill-timed plumbing disaster can ruin your best laid plans.
Mistakes made in summer can affect you later in the year. That’s why plumbing maintenance is a year-round affair. By following these preventative maintenance tips, you can reduce the likelihood of a leak and increase the efficiency of your home’s plumbing system.
1. Be careful what you throw down the sink
Regardless of the season, this is one of the easiest ways to end up with a major plumbing fiasco. You cannot throw everything and anything down the kitchen sink. Grease, oil, and sticky or starchy foods can all wreak havoc on your plumbing system. If they find their way into your pipes, you will experience slow drains, clogs, and unfavourable odours.
Hot oil and grease are liquids, making them easy candidates to pour down the drain. However, they won’t stay liquid for long. As they cool, these substances solidify in your pipes. Soon, you will have a clog on your hands.
Even if you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you still need to be mindful of what you put in it. The majority of in-sink aerators struggle with fibrous foods, such as celery, kale, asparagus, pumpkin, and banana peels. These stringy materials are likely to jam your garbage disposal. They can even cause permanent damage.
2. Assess the health of your hot water heater
Hot water heaters are used all year long, but we rely on them most heavily in the colder months. You do not want to be surprised with a freezing cold shower on a frigid winter’s day! Consequently, we recommend assessing your water heater long before winter arrives.
First, you should see how old your hot water heater is. Most units last around 10 years (15 if you’re lucky). As water heaters age, they become less efficient and are more prone to breakdowns. If your unit is nearing a decade old, it’s best to replace it this summer.
Summer is also a good time to insulate the tank and pipes. Doing so reduces thermal loss, thus increasing overall efficiency and lowering energy consumption.
3. Upgrade old fixtures
Utility bills inevitably increase during winter. Fortunately, you can mitigate expenses by upgrading your old fixtures to more energy-efficient models. It’s better for your wallet and the planet. This summer, consider switching to an energy-efficient toilet, washing machine, or dishwasher. You can also upgrade your old sink fixtures and showerheads to more modern, water-efficient versions.
4. Schedule a sewer evaluation
Sewer backups are more common in both wet and dry summers. There are a number of reasons for this.
First, wet summers bring intense storms and heavy rainfall. This saturates the ground, turning dry soil into mud, which seeps into small cracks in your home’s pipes. Over time, this leads to blockages and backups.
Second, heavy rains raise the water table, driving stormwater into the sewer lines. This also causes backups.
Dry summers come with their own unique problems, specifically, tree root incursion. When temperatures are hot and devoid of rainfall, thirsty trees begin searching for water. If your sewer line has any minor leaks or holes that are letting moisture out, tree roots will find them. The roots bore into these tiny cracks, creating even bigger cracks. Eventually, the roots block the pipe entirely or cause the line to break.
If you haven’t scheduled a sewer evaluation for a few years, now is the time. Your plumber will check for developing blockages, cracks, and tree root infiltration. You want to catch these problems early before you end up with a burst sewer line!
5. Examine your sprinklers for damage
The return of sunshine and warm temperatures means it’s time to start watering your lawn again. You (hopefully) have already winterized your sprinkler system to prevent damage over the winter months. However, damage can still occur.
Once you properly activate your sprinklers for summer and turn the water supply back on, watch for signs of damage. Wet spots or depressions in your lawn can point to a broken pipe underground. This can waste immense amounts of water, causing your utility bills to increase exponentially.
Additionally, examine the sprinkler heads for clogs or signs of damage. Sprinkler heads and valves are frequently damaged by lawn mowing, so you may need to replace them this summer.
6. Check the water hoses on appliances
The last thing you want is to come home from vacation to discover that one of your appliances has sprung a leak. If a water supply hose ruptures, it can cause extensive and expensive water damage to your house.
Consequently, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect the water hoses on appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. Check for obvious leaks, bulging, or discoloured hoses. Hoses that are older than 10 years old should be replaced by your plumber. Braided, stainless steel lines are the most robust option currently available.
If you’re leaving home for an extended period of time, you should consider turning off the water supply to your appliances to be safe.
7. Call your plumber for regular maintenance
Professional maintenance is the best preventative tip. After all, a professional plumber can spot problems you might miss and then offer lasting solutions.
Routine maintenance from a knowledgeable and experienced plumber ensures that your home’s plumbing system runs smoothly. You’re less likely to experience inconvenient breakdowns or catastrophic floods. Plus, professional maintenance helps to keep utility bills low.
Remember, emergency repairs and extensive water damage always cost more than preventative maintenance.
Contact Advanced Plumbing for Plumbing Solutions in Toronto
Advanced Plumbing provides a wide range of plumbing solutions in Toronto for homeowners and businesses. From drain cleaning to pipe installation to emergency plumbing repair, our experienced technicians are available to help. We are the most reliable plumbing company in Toronto!
To book an appointment, call Advanced Plumbing today at 866-863-9539 or contact us here.