DRAINPRO Blog: Plumbing Basics

Summer Plumbing Problems and How to Avoid Them

Summer is not without its share of plumbing woes that can quickly wash away the summertime bliss we wait so long for. Summer simply isn’t long enough for both plumbing problems and fun; thus, we have organized the top seven summer plumbing problems and ways you can avoid those unwanted (and uninvited) repairs that interrupt barbecues, cookouts, poolside escapes and family vacations.

Backup in Sewer Lines

Roots grow rapidly during the spring and summer rains. As roots grow, they are naturally attracted to the sewer lines, which readily supply nutrients to the roots. If roots grow into sewer pipes, the pipes crack. These cracks permit excess rainwater to enter and fill the pipes that cause backup problems. Once the backup occurs, water from household utilities is unable to drain.

Sump Pump Problems

If you use a sump pump to keep your basement dry from these excessive summer rains, you realize how quickly the basement will flood if embedded storms knock out the power these units need in order to function. Halt power interruptions to the unit by installing a battery backup system.

Toilet Clogs

With the kids home from school during the summer, toilet clogs may be on the rise. This problem isn’t completely inevitable, however.

Prevent clogged toilet by:

  • teaching kids to use toilet paper sparingly
  • teaching them what is acceptable to flush down the toilet
  • flushing only after using the toilet

Washing Machine Hose Leaks

Summer time means more outdoor activities. Pastimes such as gardening and hiking create more dirty clothes, and more towels collect in the hamper from frequent bathing due to these activities. Swimming also generates more towel accumulations. More laundry means more wash loads, which places an extra load on washing machine hoses as well.

Leaking washing machine hoses can be deterred by:

  • checking for and straightening any hose kinks
  • pulling the washing machine away from the wall so hoses won’t rub surfaces
  • checking for wear and replacing hoses that show signs of wear
  • making sure hoses are securely attached to water connections

Clogged Garbage Disposals

The aroma of barbecues and cookouts announces the arrival of warm weather. These activities bring family members, neighbors and friends flocking to your backyard. Unfortunately, this sets up a scenario for disposal failure caused by overuse, putting inappropriate items into the unit and pipes lined with waste buildup.

Stop garbage disposal clogs before they begin by:

  • rinsing away food with cold water for about 15 seconds before and after each use
  • not disposing of corn cobs, grease, bones, banana peels, starchy foods like potatoes, firm fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe, or stringy vegetables like celery
  • reading user’s manual for correct operating procedures

Septic Tank Overflow

Frequent summer entertainment in your home means more water in the house is being used by your guests. This can cause the septic tank to overflow back into your house.

Avoid unpleasant septic tank overflow by:

  • having the tank pumped every two years
  • not allowing visitors to park over the tank to prevent repair or replacement issues
  • not allowing sprinklers to over water at the septic tank which produces poor drainage at the absorption site.

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