A mechanic coming to fix a sink with plumbing tips

4 Fast Plumbing Tips for Summer

Summertime! All around the country, people look forward to summer vacation and outdoor activities.

Picnics, ballparks, fireworks, and camps for the kids are on everyone’s list of must-do activities. Many families plan a vacation to make the most of the summer season by travelling to other parts of the U.S. Add to that graduations, weddings, and family reunions and it’s easy to see you’re going to be busy enjoying the summer months. All this activity means you can count on a few things, like extra meals, more dishes, plenty of laundry and extra showers for everyone. Keeping up with the calendar is nearly a full-time job. You don’t need extra things to worry about, do you? Above all, no one wants unexpected maintenance or emergency repairs to take center stage in the summer heat. To make sure you’re in the best shape to avoid any plumbing problems this summer, look at these 4 quick plumbing tips for your care-free summer.

Look for Leaks that Lead to Water Loss

Summer means plenty of extra water use. From all the laundry accumulated from ball games and backyard fun to the additional showers to wash off the sweat to dirty dishes from cooking for crowds, the extra water use adds up. Shelling out a little extra on the water bill in the name of fun is no big deal for most people, but paying for water that leaks away without notice can add up to some serious cash. Summertime is the right time to check for leaks.

Look for rust and corrosion, bent or broken pipes and other spots that could be ripe for problems. Make sure to check everywhere – pipes inside cupboards under sinks, outside water spigots, shower heads, water softeners and water heaters can all sprout leaks without notice. That little drip, drip, drip wastes a lot of water and can lead to other issues as well, especially when hidden inside the walls.

Check out the toilet carefully. Does the float in the tank operate correctly so the tank fills when it should, and the water turns off when it’s finished? Sit on your toilet seat backwards and grab hold and see if it moves back and forth at all. A soft floor underneath indicates big problems. Add some food coloring to the tank to check if the water leaks into the bowl without flushing.

To check for unseen leaks, wait until no one is going to use any water for at least an hour. Check your water meter and make note of the numbers. Check again in an hour or so and see if the numbers increase. This can indicate a hidden leak.

Dredge the Drains for Dirt and Debris

All that outdoor play can mean the whole family is dragging in sand, dirt and gravel. This can clog up your shower and tub drains and even cause problems with the washer. Clear the drains weekly during the summer months to make sure you don’t get a blockage. Another one of our plumbing tips, pick up some drain covers to keep everything, including hair, out of your pipes.

Verify the Valve Is Off to Save Valuable Time in Emergencies

Do you know where your main water valve is located? It’s important to know where the main valve in the house is located so you can turn off the water throughout the house in an emergency. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the shutoff valve to the toilet and any other local valves. The main valve is often wheel-shaped with spokes that you turn clockwise to shut off.  Individual valves, such as the one to the toilet, are usually levers that turn at a right angle to the pipe to turn off. Your main water valve might be in the basement or your garage. It may even be outside. You can ask the plumber to show you where it is located.

Get the Gunk Out of the Gutters

It may seem like cleaning out the gutters is a fall cleanup job, but it is important to keep them clean year-round to protect the foundation of your house. Rain gutters funnel the rainwater away from the foundation of your home, sending it farther out into the yard. If they are clogged, that water is going to run right down the side of the building and saturate the ground around the foundation, leaving it prone to leaks. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on where you use the outside hose as well, along with where your sprinklers are aimed. Imagine finding water in the basement and sending for the plumber to discern the problem. Now imagine the bill for several hours of plumbing investigation just to find out your sprinkler head was the culprit. Save the frustration and the money by making sure you aren’t pouring water right up against the foundation of your building

These four tips are just a few ways you can help maintain the plumbing system of your home. They can save you water and they might just save you an emergency plumbing repair. When you need an expert plumber to take care of water problems in your home, including 24/7 emergency services, call Mason Mechanical at (602) 680-5086.