Between the lawn sprinklers, car washes, the extra guests, and family cookouts, our plumbing systems get a workout during the summer. Naturally, you can expect more plumbing problems this time of year.
Here’s how to protect your plumbing system from the summertime blues.
What Plumbing Problems Should I Be Aware of?
Whether you’re showering after a pool or lake day or inviting some family over to barbecue, be cautious of what goes down your drains. Hair and food waste are some common causes for clogged drains — here’s what you need to know:
- Bathroom/shower drains: These drains are susceptible to clogs. So, while you’re cleaning chlorine or sweat off your body make sure you have a drain strainer. If you take a trip to a lake in Houston or even trek to Galveston Island, you’ll surely want to give your hair a good wash. The handy drain strainer can stop any stray hairs from taking a trip down your drain.
- Garbage disposals/kitchen sinks: Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what should and shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal (or kitchen sink for that matter). But here are some tips:
- Fibrous foods: things like corn husks, celery and any other stringy vegetables should be avoided. These foods wrap themselves around the impellers in your garbage disposal.
- Grease: stay away from grease, at all costs! If grease coagulates in the pan, it will do the same in your drain.
- Pasta and potato peels: simply, if it expands in your pot, it’ll expand in the drain.
Now that you know some of the things to keep out of your drains, check one plumbing worry off your list.
Summer brings an increase in gatherings and thus more foot traffic through your home. The more people you have over, typically the more often your bathroom is in use! With this overuse, there is a greater risk of clogged toilets, especially if the wrong items are being flushed. Keep the following OUT of your toilets:
- “Flushable” wipes
- Hygiene products
- Paper towels and tissues
Basically anything that isn’t toilet paper or waste should go into your garbage to reduce the likelihood of a clog in your pipes.
If you notice that your toilet is clogging more frequently than usual, it’s best to call a plumber. But, first, there are some DIY methods you can try. For example, it’s time to take out the plunger! Plunge your toilet pretty vigorously, but try to prevent an overflow, because that can cause health hazards. Health hazards can also be caused by a sewer backup. If you notice that your toilet and sink are starting to clog, call a plumber.
Sewer Line Backups
If you have a sewer system, you may be no stranger to a sewer line backup. If you’re not familiar with one, count yourself lucky, but here’s the breakdown: your home has water lines that come in and sewer lines that go out. The sewer line takes the water filled with waste from your sink, shower, toilets, washing machine, etc. away from your home.
If your sewer line gets blocked, the water will return back into your home causing a major health hazard (mold growth, contaminated water). The worst-case scenario will be that the water will come back up and out of your toilet causing the water to leak onto your floor.