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Avoid These 4 Most Common Summer Plumbing Issues

Who doesn’t love a Southwest Michigan summer? With kids out of school and warm weather, it’s the best time of year to enjoy our time together outdoors, take day trips to beach towns along the Lake Michigan coast, and have family and friends over for backyard barbecues. For many, summertime is just a more relaxed time of year, full of fun family plans, vacations, and activities.  So we definitely don’t want your summer plans to be ruined by an unexpected and potentially expensive plumbing issue.

Below, we put together a list of the top 4 most common plumbing issues we see in the summer to help you avoid them!

Sprinkler Leaks

Summer is the time of year to show off your lawn and turn your yard into the perfect oasis for patio dinners and hammock reading.  So of course, many homeowners give their lawns and gardens extra care using their sprinkler system more often than ever. However, with frequent use or using your system after it’s been sitting idle for months, your equipment may be suffering from wear and tear that comes as time goes by. If you are noticing your water bill is higher than last year at this time or seeing soggy ground by your sprinkler head, you may want to take a close look at your sprinkler system and make sure there aren’t any leaks. 

Make Sure the Great Outdoors Doesn’t End Up In Your Drains

If your household is like mine, as soon as it starts to get warm, the entire family spends time outdoors as much as possible. This leads to little feet tracking dirt inside, coming home from the beach covered in sand, and sometimes bringing the earth’s elements home in your clothes after a hike.  Considering you don’t want a mess in your home after being outside, make sure you don’t bring that same mess into your drains.  It’s always a good idea to hose yourself and your kids off after enjoying the great outdoors to prevent any clogging or other damage to your drains.  Hang beach clothes and towels outside to dry and then knock the dirt and debris off before putting them in your washing machine and risking any unnecessary particle build-up that may prevent it from draining properly.  

Sewer Line Back-Ups from Heavy Storms

As we’ve seen recently, hot and humid summer weather can create the perfect atmosphere for heavy storms, which unfortunately can result in sewer line damage.  If a lot of rain is making its way into your sewer pipes this can cause back-ups and problems for your plumbing system.  Additionally, we often see new tree root growth occur in the summertime, which can interfere with sewer lines, causing them to crack and even burst.  If your tub and toilet are often backing up when you drain or flush, this could be the issue.  If you suspect something is off with your sewer line, it’s a good idea to have a plumber give it a thorough inspection to prevent major back-ups.

Clogged Toilets and Garbage Disposals

In the summer, kids are home from school flushing the toilet more often and eating something every other hour, which can result in the garbage disposal working overtime (anyone else have kids who seem to want to eat this often?).  All of these additional activities can cause extra stress on your plumbing system.  Trust us, this is definitely a good time of year to teach your kids and perhaps additional houseguests staying with you some plumbing fundamentals to prevent potential problems.  

For instance, teach your children to use the bare minimum amount of toilet paper if you notice constant clogs. Also teach them that small toys, sand, hair, slime, and other things besides toilet paper and, well, you know, don’t belong in the toilet. 

Additionally, your garbage disposal tends to work harder in the summer. Summer fruits and vegetables can create disposal problems due to their fibrous textures. Husking corn is definitely an outdoor activity or something to be done over the garbage can and not meant for the garbage disposal. Also, celery, artichokes, any fruit with seeds or pits, and popcorn kernels definitely don’t belong in the garbage disposal. A good rule of thumb for your kids and guests is to just throw food away if they’re not sure because some foods can get caught in the blade of your disposal and dull it quickly, which leads to clogged drains. If your garbage disposal is clogged or not working, you probably have a professional plumber come out to unclog it safely.

Noticing Any Strange Plumbing Issues This Summer?

If you’re noticing things are draining slower or having complications with anything mentioned above or something else out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to call us to get a professional plumber out to your home so they can perform an inspection and prevent a potential big wet mess or inconvenience in your home during a time of year where we all just want to enjoy fun summer activities and relax.

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