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How to Keep Your Plumbing in Top Shape for Summer

How to Keep Your Plumbing in Top Shape for Summer

Summer is here, which means your home is likely seeing a lot more traffic these days. Kids are off from school, friends might be visiting from out of town, and you’ll probably be hosting some barbecues and other get-togethers. This increased activity can put more of a strain on your home’s plumbing system, especially if you like to spend a lot of time outside. Not only will you likely have to wash more clothing that gets dirty from outdoor activities, but you’ll also be using a lot of water to take care of your lawn or keep a swimming pool full.

Since your home’s plumbing system is more complicated than you might think, you need to know how to keep it in good shape for the summer. While we will always recommend contacting a plumbing professional if you have any issues with your pipes, here are some tips.

1. Be Careful of What You Put Down Your Drains

You might think that whatever goes down your drains is out of sight and out of mind, but that is not the case. Certain materials such as grease, hair, and expandable foods such as pasta and rice can form nasty clogs that are nearly impossible to clear without the help of a plumber.

Never assume that something should go down your drain just because it can. If you have a lot of hair going down your shower drain or your bathroom sink, place a mesh cover over your drains to catch hair and other materials that could form a clog. The same goes for your kitchen sink when it comes to rice, pasta, eggshells, and stringy vegetables. If you have a lot of grease left over from cooking, pour it into a glass jar. You might be able to bring it to your local recycling center later.

2. Be Careful What You Flush

Just as you should be careful what you rinse down your drains, you should be careful what you flush. As a rule, the only things you should ever flush are water, human waste, and toilet paper. Anything else should be thrown in the trash, even “flushable” wipes and other cleaning products.

3. Use Chemical Drain Cleaners Sparingly

Even if you are careful with your drains, clogs can happen. When they do, you might be tempted to go to the store and buy a chemical drain cleaner to clear them out. Drain cleaners may seem to work, but they should be used sparingly. The caustic ingredients in these products will eat away at the grease and hair plugging up your pipes, but they will also eat away at the pipes themselves and leave you with even more plumbing problems.

If you must use a chemical drain cleaner to clear a clog, do so only when other options have failed. These other options include using a plunger, a plastic drain cleaning tool, or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Chemical drain cleaners should only be used a few times a year at the most. If you think you need to use them more often and nothing else seems to work, call a plumber. Chances are that you have bigger problems that require a professional’s services.

4. Examine Your Exposed Pipes

Leaks can be difficult to detect in your home, which is why finding them should be left to a professional plumbing service. This doesn’t mean you can’t still complete an inspection on your own, however. Check the exposed pipes in your basement, under your sinks, or wherever you might have them in your home. If they are leaking due to loose joints or holes, contact a plumber to have them fixed. Trying to fix them yourself could make things worse.

5. Check Your Sprinklers

Sprinklers can use a lot of water, especially when they’re not in good shape. Before you water your lawn this summer, check all of your sprinkler heads to make sure they’re in good condition. If they are broken, rusty, loose, or otherwise damaged, see if you can get them replaced. Most stores that sell sprinklers sell replacement heads, so go back to where you bought your sprinklers and shop around.

6. Test Your Outdoor Faucets

Speaking of sprinklers, you’ll need to make sure that your outdoor faucets are in good shape since they are prone to freezing in the winter. If you winterized your faucets in the fall, you should be in good shape, but you should still test your faucets anyway. Open the valve to your outdoor faucets slowly at the beginning of the summer and turn on the faucets themselves. The water should flow from them freely with plenty of pressure. If the pressure seems low, you might have a leak somewhere. Contact a plumbing service to find and fix it.

7. Test Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump will remove water from your basement if it floods during a severe summer storm but only if it’s working properly. To test it, make sure it’s plugged in and turn it on. Pour a bucket of water into the sump where the pump is located. It should activate and send the water out of your home. This test should be completed regularly, preferably at the beginning of the summer and especially if you think you’ll be getting a lot of rain.

8. Know How to Shut Off Your Water

If you do have a plumbing emergency in your home, you will need to shut off your water. Your toilet and other plumbing fixtures will have their own shutoff valves, but you need to know where your home’s main shutoff valve is located. This valve is often located in the basement or crawlspace, but it could also be outside on an exterior wall or even in your yard away from your house. It depends on your home’s construction, so make sure you can find it and get to it if you have a plumbing emergency.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing for Assistance

If you suspect that you have a plumbing problem, don’t hesitate to contact us at Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air for assistance. We are a certified plumbing and HVAC service that serves homes in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding area, and we are dedicated to keeping your home safe, dry, and comfortable throughout the year. Some of the plumbing services we offer include pipe replacement, leak detection, sewer services, and sump pump repair. Our plumbers go above and beyond to meet our customers’ needs, and we have been given the Best of the Best award nine years in a row. We have also been given the Business Excellence Award by the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce for our services.

For more information about our plumbing services or if you need a plumber for your home, contact Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air today. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.