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Summertime is synonymous with pool parties, cookouts, lazy days spent indoors, and backyard campouts.
While it’s not something we typically think much about, that means your home’s appliances are being used more heavily and the plumbing is being subjected to extra wear and tear. Winter is the season more commonly associated with issues requiring a plumber, but warm weather brings plenty of problems as well − and it doesn’t have anything to do with how old (or new) your home is.
Here’s an overview of the top five most common summer plumbing issues in Harvey, LA, and what you can do to prevent them.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
Everyone loves a good summer barbecue. The smell of burgers or steaks sizzling on the grill, the refreshing salads, the crisp fresh fruit. However, cooking at home more often, especially for a crowd, means that there are a lot more food items being put down your garbage disposal. Not only is it working quite a bit harder than usual, but clogs are also much more likely to happen. Luckily, they’re largely preventable with just a bit of care and attention.
- Don’t: Put oily foods such as meat scraps, fruit or vegetable rinds, or corn cobs down your garbage disposal. Fruit pits should not be run through the disposal either. These foods can gum up or get stuck in the disposal. This is a surefire way to set yourself up for needing to call in a plumber for an emergency repair!
- Do: Run the water in the sink for a few seconds before, during, and after turning on the disposal. This will help completely rinse away any remaining food scraps, preventing potential clogs before they even arise.
If you do notice signs that your garbage disposal is starting to back up, flush it several times by pouring white vinegar and boiling water down the drain. If the problem persists or seems to get worse, call your local plumber.
Bogged Down Hot Water Heater
With kids home from school for the summer and adults working summer hours or taking vacation days, there are more people using your home’s water supply on a daily basis. Between taking hot showers, doing more loads of laundry, and running the dishwasher more often, your hot water heater is working overtime.
One thing you can do to help it run more efficiently is turn the temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the Department of Energy. Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees by default. Reducing the temperature not only allows the hot water heater to work more efficiently, but it will save your household money on energy costs as well.
It’s also a good idea to inspect your hot water heater annually, and the summer is an excellent time of year to do this. Check the top and bottom of the unit, as well as all pipes and connectors for signs of corrosion, rust, or leaks. Most residential hot water heaters have life spans of about 10 years, so consider checking yours more often if it’s approaching that age.
Your local plumber offers water heater inspections, so if you’re more comfortable having a professional take a look at it, be sure to give them a call. Of course, if you inspect yours yourself and encounter any warning signs, it’s time to call a professional as well.
It’s no secret that the New Orleans area gets a lot of heavy rainstorms and even hurricanes, particularly in the summer. Sump pumps work to protect your home from flooding caused by these storms.
Before summer storms come, it’s a good idea to have your home’s sump pump inspected by a professional to make sure it’s in good working order. The sump pump was most likely installed in the basement when the house was built, but if you’re unsure of whether or not you have one or you have trouble locating it, a plumber can help.
With children home from school for the summer and more visitors dropping by, your toilets work overtime.
It’s something nobody wants to talk about, but it’s important to call a family meeting for a quick refresher on what does and does not get flushed. As any plumber will recommend, ONLY toilet paper should be flushed; no other paper, diapers, or feminine products belong in a toilet. For younger kids, you may need to demonstrate how much toilet paper is appropriate and remind them often.
It’s a good idea to keep a good plunger on hand for minor clogs. Keep the number of an emergency plumber handy in the event of a serious backup.
Summertime and lush green lawns go hand in hand, but it doesn’t happen magically. Many homeowners have automatic sprinkler systems, but over time the individual sprinkler heads can break or become defective. This has a domino effect of allowing the grass to die, plus significant amounts of water can be wasted. Thankfully, this is a pretty easy fix because a lot of sprinkler parts are universal. If it’s just one broken head, bring it into your local hardware store to have it replaced or get the necessary part.
Sprinkler leaks are often slow and therefore not always obvious until you receive a tremendous bill. It’s wise to spend some time every so often visually inspecting the individual heads, especially at the start of summer, when they start to be used more.
Summer should be a season of relaxation and making memories with your family, but an emergency requiring a plumber can quickly put a damper on that. Follow these tips to keep your home’s plumbing in proper working order this season. If a problem does arise, give bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans a call at (504) 457-7204 or contact us online. We offer both routine and emergency plumber services in Harvey, LA, and the surrounding areas.