Having a Summer Party? Prevent Plumbing Problems Later by Following a Few Easy Steps This Summer.
Here in the Pacific Northwest our stretch of warm dry weather can be short. Being able to move our party’s outdoors really is something to celebrate. Having friends and family over and sharing a BBQ in the backyard is just part of what makes summer…well summer. So enjoy, but with caution. Unfortunately, summer provides its own set of plumbing related problems. Here are some common problems and how to prevent or solve them.
Be careful what you put down your garbage disposal after a cookout. Keep a garbage can handy to throw away scraps. Common summer foods you want to avoid putting down your disposal unit include:
- Corn cobs
- Watermelon and other hard fruits
- Celery and other fibrous vegetables
- Potatoes and other starchy foods (these can expand in water and block your pipes)
Utilize your dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes. With today’s efficient dishwashers you’ll use less water than hand washing. According to research (www.consumerenergycenter.org), a load of dishes cleaned 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.
Outdoor fun leads to more dirty clothes and table linens, which means increased usage of your washing machine. Check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks. A burst hose can leave devastating results behind in your home. 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.
If you’ve got kids, they’re going to be spending more of their time at home for summer vacation. That means you’re toilets are going to be used more often and the chances of a clog happening are much higher -especially if they use too much toilet paper.
Solution: Remind your kids the appropriate amount of toilet paper to use. If your toilet gets clogged, we recommend using a “flange plunger” not a “cup plunger”. A flange plunger is designed to fit snugly into the opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl in order to create the suction you need to loosen the clog and generaly works better.
If you’re unable to unclog the toilet and need help, call a professional plumber at Pinky’s Plumbing for help.
Sewer line backups are common in summer for 2 reasons:
- Excessive rainwater from summer rain showers and thunderstorms get into the sewer pipes via cracks and back up the sewer line.
- Tree roots, which grow in the summer after spring rains, creep into your pipes, causing the pipes to crack. Tree roots are drawn toward the sewer line because it’s a source of nutrition.
Solution: Have the professionals at Pinky’s Plumbing inspect your sewer line pipes. The technician can let you know if you are susceptible to a sewer line backup problem or if damage has already occurred. This visit can be non-invasive since plumbers can now use fiber optic sewer line cameras to look inside your lines and quickly and accurately assess their condition.