Take Care of Your Overworked Plumbing System this Summer

You may not realize it, but your plumbing system gets more of a workout during the summer (from sprinklers, pools and garden hoses) than any other time of year. Keeping your plumbing system in good shape will save you energy and money, too!

Most of us spend more time outside in the summer, which translates into additional dirty clothes and more frequent washing. It’s important to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks. A burst hose can leave devastating results behind in your home, while wasting tons of water. Also, make sure to remove dryer lint regularly. “Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Lint build-up also makes your dryer work harder, using more energy than necessary.

Another summer activity many enjoy is cooking out, but be careful what you put down your garbage disposal. It’s best to keep a garbage can handy to throw away any scraps. “Stringy,” fibrous foods such as cornhusks, celery and banana peels can clog up your sink. Also, avoid putting excessive grease or oil down the drain. For greasy foods, run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after to help flush it down.

After cooking out, give your hands a break and wash dishes in your dishwasher instead. With today’s efficient dishwashers, you’ll use less water than hand washing. According to the Consumer Energy Center, a load of dishes cleaner in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. You can also save energy by letting the dishes in your dishwasher air dry.

Summer rainfall may curb your outdoor activities but it can also cause problems in your sewer line. Summer rainfall entering sewer pipes via cracks can lead to sewer line backups, a common problem during the summer months. New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of nutrition. Have a plumber inspect your sewer line to access potential sewer line problems. Your plumber will be able to determine the best treatment option for proper drain cleaning.

With increased water usage during the summer it’s a good idea to check for leaks throughout your home. Check faucets, toilets, showerheads and other fixtures for leaks. Look inside cabinets under sinks and around toilets for water damage. Leaks are one of the most common culprits for wasting water in any season. Even a small drip can waste up to 50-100 gallons of water a week and this small leak can cost you in higher utility bills. Some leaks are hard to detect, called hidden leaks. You can check for these hidden leaks by examining your water meter during a period of time when no water is being used (overnight is the best time to do this). If your meter moves during this time period you have a leak that needs to be fixed.

Increased usage can mean overworked plumbing. Avoid problems by being proactive, following steps to reduce usage when possible, and checking to make sure you don’t have any hidden leaks, which could be adding to your overworked plumbing and increasing your overall costs. Also, remember to contact a professional plumber for your plumbing repairs. A professional plumber can diagnose and fix the problem, helping you avoid any further damage to your home.



Sources: www.ehow.com
               www.insurancesguide.org
               http://www.usfa.dhs.gov
               www.consumerenergycenter.org
               www.epa.gov


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