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Summer plumbing tips that can save you both time and money

With warmer weather and more activities, summer is the time of year for homeowners to get outside and enjoy themselves — the reward for being cooped up during winter. Getting out and about is a necessary relief for everyone, but it’s important not to neglect potential plumbing issues around the house in the midst of running out to catch some sun.

The summer months are a good time to pay a little closer attention to faucets, appliances, and your home plumbing in general. Because now is the time to catch small issues and patch them up before the warm weather winds down and cool weather sets in. Summer also brings with it a number of unique plumbing considerations that don’t pop up throughout the rest of year. So rather than using more of your precious summer free-time than you’d like to — or spending spare summer activity money — on plumbing problems around your home, use these summer plumbing tips to save yourself some time and money around the house!

Watch What Enters the Garbage Disposal

Summer is known for a variety of foods specific to the warm-weather months. Unfortunately, many of the byproducts from these foods are just as bad to run through the garbage disposal as other problematic foods and items, like coffee grounds and oil. Which is why one major tip for homeowners to avoid costly plumbing repairs is to be careful about which items you’re putting down the garbage disposal.

Things like melon rinds, bones from barbecue cook-outs, or corn cobs will get caught inside the system and clog up a garbage disposal, leading to draining issues and disposal repairs. It’s always better to throw away — or compost — these food items, and if your garbage disposal is particularly odorous, or backed-up, reach out to a plumber for help.

Keep Your Washing Machine in Check

There are usually more people around the house during summer, and more activities that require using towels and changing clothes, meaning your washing machine is going to see more frequent usage. Summer also brings with it a larger variety of washing, from typical loads of clothes, to those beach day supplies, to trying to get through a backlog of items while preparing for summertime garage sales. This all adds up to the washing machine running through several extra cycles over the summer. And you want to make sure that your washing machine is up to the task.

It’s generally best to run your washing machine at times when you’re home, to keep an eye out and make sure each cycle runs fully and without issues. More frequent, and heavy-duty, washing can lead to more wear and tear on your washing machine’s hoses, valves, and drum, so make sure to check the connections where you can and inspect visible pieces — any tears or loose connections can lead to the machine using more power and water than necessary to complete a cycle, costing extra money.

It’s also a good idea to have a plumber perform a routine maintenance check on your washer and dryer at the end of the summer season to ensure there are no surprise repairs lurking in the near future.

Check Toilets & Showers for Leaks or Weak Pressure

The washing machine isn’t the only appliance or fixture that will see more use during summer —so will the toilets and showers. Another useful household plumbing tip for homeowners to do before using the toilets and showers is to check around the base of each fixture to see if there are any cracks or if either is developing small leaks or issues from regular wear and tear — these should be patched or repaired as soon as possible. 

Depending on the size of the leak and the placement of the shower or toilet, it’s also a good idea to check the room immediately below the bathroom where the fixtures are located and look for signs of brown spotting on the ceiling, as this is a quick indication that the leak has spread further than just the bathroom.

Now is also a good time to check the pressure of both the toilet and shower — and other faucets around the house. If the water pressure is significantly low in any of these places, it can be a sign that there is a partial blockage in the pipes. If the water pressure drops in more than one spot, it is also a tell-tale sign that there is a hidden leak somewhere in the house, usually in a pipe that is behind the walls or ceiling. In either case, it’s best to bring in a plumbing professional to diagnose the issue and provide repairs.

Take Time to Check on Your Water Heater

Helpful plumbing tips for summer will take homeowners through every room of the house, including the basement or lowest floors. Between the increase in washing machine and shower usage, your water heater will certainly be running more often as well. It’s a good idea to take a look for any worrying signs around the water heater, such as odd noises, cracks, or pooling water at the base, and get a maintenance check scheduled with a professional technician. If it’s getting further up in years — between 10–15 years old — it’s a very good idea to have routine maintenance completed on it sooner rather than later, as this is the typical point where water heaters will need to be replaced. Routine maintenance will be able to catch minor issues and fix or replace small parts before homeowners are hit with a nasty surprise, like the hot water suddenly becoming unavailable. 

Household chores are usually the last thing any homeowner wants to do on a perfectly decent summer day. But setting aside the time to be proactive and employ these helpful summer plumbing tips will keep homeowners from dealing with more costly repairs or spiking utility bills from unknown causes. If you need to schedule service to check on the appliances and fixtures around your home, or if you’ve noticed a leak or other plumbing issue that you need addressed, reach out to the professional team at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling for assistance! With over 30 years of experience, the professional technicians at Duane Blanton will keep the water running in your home to make sure it flows exactly where and when it’s needed. Reach out to Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling today, at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online right from your browser with their convenient online scheduling tool!

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