Avoiding Summertime Plumbing Problems
In the summer, water usage is particularly high. An average family’s water usage is typically increased by 25 to 50 percent. The more water you use, the bigger chance you have of a plumbing setback occurring. That’s why we’re here to provide a few pointers before small problems potentially become big ones. So what can go wrong?
LEAKS PREVENTION. Under your kitchen sink, just take a peek every once in a while and see if there are any drips. It’s always a good idea to take a look. Set back the water spigot valves.
TOILETS GET CLOGGED. Toilets see extra use with more folks around. Keep a plunger handy to clear small clogs. Call us for big ones.
DISPOSALS GET CLOGGED. If you’re cooking more, you’ll have more food waste to dispose of. three things to remember: Don’t poor cooking oil down the drain but discard in the trash. Avoid putting hard-textured fruits and vegetables in the drain. When you use your disposal, run cold water before, during and after grinding to make sure the drain becomes clear.
WASH CYCLES GO WRONG. This season of sports and outdoor activities means extra loads of laundry for your washing machine. Check your hoses and replace if you see signs of war and tear. Also don’t “set it and forget it.” Only wash your laundry when you are at home and available if something unusual occurs.
SEWER LINES GET BACKED UP. Tree roots that push into underground lines and keep growing are often a cause of sewer lines backing up. Another cause comes from flushing items in the toilet that should be discarded in a trash can. When a sewer line clogs, the water has no where to go in the line so it shows up in your plumbing fixtures. You’ll probably see the first sign in your toilets, which have the most direct path to the sewer line. Call us and let us help.
REGULATE YOUR WATER HEATER
Warm weather can mean over-heated pipes, so look at the temperature on your water heater frequently and keep it no higher than 120 degrees. The problem can go unnoticed during this season due to your limiting of hot water use, but the result is hot water that scald your skin in seconds. Keep an eye on your water heater’s temp to avoid burns of this nature.
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Check around the base of the toilet for signs of water damage (i.e.; rolled vinyl, black or white stains). To check for a “soft floor,” stand straddled over the toilet and rock back and forth on each foot. If the floor feels spongy, it is probably rotting or weakened.
Check to see how fast the toilet flushes. Check for leaky or loose tiles by pressing on the walls where they come in contact with the bathtub. If the walls are soft, water may have created damage behind the tiles. Provide a trash bin in the bathroom so the toilet isn’t used as a garbage can. Never flush cotton swabs, cotton balls, hair, facial scrub pads, diapers, sanitary products or similar items down the toilet. These items will not easily dissolve and are responsible for most clogs.
Water Supply Piping
Turn on water in bathtub and in the kitchen sink. If there is a noticeable reduction in water volume, the piping in the house may need to be replaced because of calcium and mineral deposits restricting water flow. If the home has a basement, check exposed piping for signs of leaking or recent repairs. Find the main line cleanout and ensure that it is accessible.
Water Heater Plumbing Tips
Check the date of the water heater. The first four numbers of the serial number on the water heater are the month and year. Any heater over 15 years old is a candidate to be replaced. A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems.
Miscellaneous Plumbing Tips
Check to make sure that the garbage disposer and dishwasher connections are tight and leak free. Survey the inside of cabinets (with a flashlight) for signs of water damage, warped cabinet bottom or stains. Make sure that traps and supply tubes are not leaking. Check washing machine hoses for rupture. Turn valves on and off to test for leaks.
Standing water is another common problem resulting from leaky or broken pipes. Excess water in a yard may be coming from a damaged sewer line and may contain waste from the home. Standing water is not healthy for children or pets, and is a breeding ground for insects and germs. Inspect the yard for areas that are too wet and with unusual plant or grass growth.
If you are planning to purchase a home, doing a video inspection of the underground sewer pipe may be a good idea, especially in older homes with clay or concrete sewer pipes. The inspection will reveal any flaws with the sewer before you buy and inherit a problem. The cost of repairing or replacing an underground sewer may cost many thousands of dollars making a relatively inexpensive camera inspection a good investment.
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Did you know that yearly maintenance on your air conditioner is recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy and local utility companies and REQUIRED by your manufacturer in order to keep your warranty valid?
Don’t be fooled by the low-price tune-up that may be an invitation of a technician that “has” to find a repair: instead get your money’s worth with your comprehensive maintenance. This maintenance is a complete evaluation of your system (indoor and outdoor) to include mechanical and electrical components with a thorough cleaning. This maintenance will be performed by a federal background screened, N.A.T.E certified Technical that will be professional and courteous. Mark Lindsay and Son technicians are paid hourly NOT on commission and have NO incentive to suggest an unnecessary repair or service.
And don’t forget the peace of mind benefits that include:
It ensures your system will be working when you need it
Your air conditioner will operate to manufacturer’s specifications and its highest efficiency saving you more energy bills
Your air conditioner will be running at its best all season long, saving you more on energy bills
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