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Prevent summer plumbing issues

Although most people prefer the warmth and sunshine of summer to the cold and snow of winter, summer does come with its own set of problems and home maintenance responsibilities. And while a few of these are minor headaches, others will cost you in the long run if you don’t address them, and others yet are health hazards that warrant emergency plumbing services.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with summer plumbing problems, here’s a list of some of the most common, from the least messy to the most disgusting, and how to prevent them.

Leaking Sprinklers

prevent plumbing issues

Leaking sprinklers or hoses aren’t really messy at all, but they are an annoyance that can waterlog and damage the grass. For a hose that’s leaking where it attaches to the outdoor faucet, you’ll likely have to replace the washer inside the faucet. To fix a small leak in the hose itself, try electrical tape wrapped tightly around the leak site, or just replace the hose. For a leak on the sprinkler itself, this likely means one of the valves needs a cleaning.

To prevent leaky hoses, make sure you keep the hose out of the sun, store it in an organized coil rather than a pile, and remove kinks immediately. Store the hose either flat or hanging from a wide wall mount, and always bring in the hose when you’re done with it, especially if you’re going to be mowing soon.

Washing Machine Problems

Washing machine issues also aren’t disgusting, but they certainly can be messy. Common washing machine problems and solutions include:

  • The machine is leaking or flooding: inspect the hoses for damage and replace cracked or blistered hoses as necessary

  • Clothes aren’t being washed or rinsed properly: clean out the drum and the detergent compartment monthly

  • The machine is bouncing around on the floor: make sure the machine sits level on the floor

  • There are rust spots on the body: sand down rust spots and apply protective paint, and touch-up any dings or scratches with paint before rust appears

Broken or Clogged Garbage Disposal

Plumber fixing a garbage disposal

So now comes the stuff that’s a little more unpleasant than simple leaks and floods: clogs. In terms of your garbage disposal, there

are a number of things that can cause clogs and back-ups, including too much of the right food, the wrong foods, and non-food items that shouldn’t be in there at all.

Large food items should be cut up before being fed into the garbage disposal, and you shouldn’t try to grind things like fibrous foods (think corn husks and onion skins), foods that expand (like rice), and large animal bones.

Everyone in your home should also know that non-food items never go in the garbage disposal, but accidents do of course happen. If anything does happen to get caught, unplug the disposal before retrieving the item with a long pair of pliers or tweezers.

Sewer Lines Getting Backed Up

And finally, comes the plumbing disaster that trumps all others—clogged or backed up sewer lines. The result of this can be a flooded basement, a sink that won’t drain, or a toilet that overflows.

Prevention includes not using sinks and toilets for food, garbage, and waste, making sure tree roots are not at risk of growing into sewer lines, and installing a backwater valve that will prevent main line sewer water from entering and flooding your house.

If you are in the Round Lake, IL area and are experiencing common or uncommon summer plumbing problems, give Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer & Drainage, Inc., a call at (815) 781-2567. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can get back to enjoying the heat and sun!

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