Summer is here on the Central Coast! Trips to the beach, spending time on vacation and other things may enter the mind, but it is also a time to think about the plumbing in the home. The warmer months are a prime time for plumbing problems that may not occur at other times of the year. It is estimated that a family’s water usage can increase by 25%-50% during the summer months. How can homeowners protect their property from serious summer plumbing problems and what issues should they be careful to avoid? Here are some common plumbing problems that arise during the summer:

Clogged Disposal: Are you having cookouts this summer? If so, you will need be careful of how you dispose of waste food. While produce may be organic, it is generally not good for your garbage disposal, particularly if you are getting rid of hard fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon or corn. These types of produce can damage the blades in your disposal unit or lead to stubborn clogs. Used cooking oils are also damaging to garbage disposal systems, so avoid pouring the dirty grease down the drain after grilling out. It is also a good idea to run cold water through your disposal for a few seconds before and after you use it to clear any remaining bits of food.

Sewer Line Backups: Backed up drains and water backing up into the home can be a minor nuisance, or can be a major problem. Many homeowners wait until they see the water coming back into their home, because of a blocked sewer line, before they call the plumber. To avoid these problems, homeowners can have the sewer lines checked for any potential problems before the summer gets into full swing. Problems with the sewer lines are often created by excess rain and thunderstorms, trees or roots invading the sewer lines, blockages caused by debris, and other similar problems. These are easy to spot with a proper sewer line video inspection from Culbert Construction & Plumbing.

Washing Machine Maintenance: Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer, especially if you have children that are out of school. It is best to stay at home while the machine is running, so that if a problem arises you can stop the cycle immediately and call a professional if needed. Make sure you give your washing machine a break and visually inspect the hoses and machine. The lifetime of a rubber washing machine hose should be replaced approximately every 3 years. Washing machine hoses should be flexible (not brittle), watertight with no drips at the faucet connections, and the valve handles open and close properly with no drips.

Clogged Toilets: Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to children using the bathroom during the day. Teach your kids to use a modest amount of toilet paper and to flush only after they use the bathroom. Common clogs are simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional from Culbert Construction & Plumbing.

Sprinkler Issues: If you have sprinklers embedded in your lawn, be sure to inspect and clean the heads before the season begins. When you are mowing the lawn, be careful to do so when the sprinkler heads are lowered, to avoid damaging them. Don’t forget to water your lawn at the right time! It’s suggested that the best time to water lawns and landscapes is in the early morning and/or evening, after the sun goes down. If you decide to tend to your lawn in the middle of the day, that water can be lost due to evaporation from the heat throughout the day.

Water Heater: Many homeowners do not realize that they can turn down the temperature of their water heater. During the summer, this is a good idea, especially when away on vacation. Taking this step will save money on the utility bills and will keep the home safer. It’s also important to know that the average life of a water heater is anywhere from 8-11 years old. If you don’t know the age of your system, check the last four digits of the serial number on the tank. This will show you the month and year it was manufactured.

Be Water Wise: Consider replacing some of your older appliances such as showerheads, faucets, and toilets with newer water efficient options to significantly reduce your water consumption. Not only is this good for the environment and future generations, it will reduce your household bill too. Using less water means less energy is required to heat the water, so the benefits are twofold.

Happy Summer from your friends at Culbert Construction & Plumbing!