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5 common summer plumbing issues

Every season comes with its fair share of household issues, which is why homeowners should stay diligent year-round to ensure issues are kept at bay. Typically, winter is the time associated with the worst potential plumbing issues, but there are certain common plumbing issues during the summer months that homeowners will want to watch. Even with summer winding now, and as your family tries to cram in every last bit of fun they can before returning to school and colder temperatures, it’s important that you set aside time for maintenance checks to catch any common summer plumbing issues early before they get out of hand. Because staying proactive is always better — and more cost effective — than letting issues pile up.

Clogged Fixtures and Drains

Summer months mean more guests and active uses of showers, toilets, bathtubs, and drains in general. And as each of these fixtures is used more often, there is a greater chance that one of them will get clogged. It’s always important to remind folks using your bathroom fixtures that only specific items can be flushed down the toilet or washed down the drains. Anything besides the expected items — such as toys, dirt, mud, sand, paint, or other debris — can quickly cause a toilet or drain to become clogged and back up.

Garbage Disposal Issues

It’s important to watch what gets rinsed down your home’s garbage disposal, as well. While it seems like the kitchen garbage disposal can grind up anything, there are actually a number of items that should never be run through the appliance, including grease, oils, fats, coffee grounds, egg shells, pasta, rice, grains, flour, and especially non-food items.

Garbage disposals can also become smelly due to food lodging in the blades, but a quick fix to clean those food particles out and knock out the smell is to run a mixture of baking soda and vinegar through the disposal, followed by fresh orange or citrus fruit peels. The baking soda and vinegar mixture will clean the disposal while the fruit peels help keep the blades sharp and release a pleasant odor.

Sump Pump Problems

Lots of summer rain means lots of work for many homes’ sump pumps. And if the sump pump is working overtime, it’s a good idea to check and make sure there is no debris or blockages preventing the pump from running, as well as making sure the electrical connection for the sump pump is still in good working order. This will not only keep your basement dry during summer rains, but prepare the sump pump for dealing with ice and snow moving in within a few short months.

Outdoor Faucets and Sprinkler Malfunctions

With more activities happening outdoors, and as you continue mowing the grass on a regular basis, it can be easy to bump or jostle an outdoor sprinkler without even noticing. And if it gets too bumped, it’s very possible the sprinkler becomes damaged and is running or leaking water. Inspect your sprinklers to make sure there are no damaged pieces or parts, and that water is only running when it’s supposed to. The same advice goes for outdoor faucets. You should double check the seals around the outdoor faucet, as well, and make sure that there are no obvious leaks or major cracks where the faucet meets the side of your home.

Tree Roots and Sewer Line Leaks

The smell of sewage is distinct, pungent, and never a sign that everything is well. If you start to smell sewage, there is a good change the sewer line is leaking and in need of repair. This smell will generally originate in the basement, or lowest drain within your home, as the leak will run to the lowest point it can find. There may also be springy or spongy spots within the yard, potentially yellowing and pooling with brown water. These are all signs that there is a crack or leak within the underground sewer line that needs to be taken care of immediately.

Tree roots are one of the major causes of sewer line leaks, as they grow out far enough to penetrate through the sewer line. It’s important to monitor tree growth and try to intervene before the sewer line gets punctured, and to regularly inspect around your home for odd smells, or the tell-tale signs outdoors that water is pooling below the surface of the grass. 

The summertime brings a number of unique plumbing issues that will keep homeowners busy and on your toes, but there is one surefire solution to get ahead of any issues — reaching out to a plumbing professional for an annual plumbing maintenance inspection. If you have yet to have an inspection done, or you suspect that there is a major plumbing issue already present in your home, reach out to the plumbing experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling today! The licensed professionals at Duane Blanton have over 30 years of experience and knowledge resolving and fixing home plumbing issues, and they will be able to address any concerns you may have. Reach out today, at (815) 781-2567, or give them a shout online through the online scheduling portal, for information, to answer questions, and to service any issues before they get out of hand.  


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