You probably heard how the freezing cold weather can be damaging to the plumbing system. You may be thankful for the warm, sunny weather since you do not have to worry about frozen or burst pipes, but like icy, cold weather, the summer heat can also do a number on your plumbing. As you welcome another sweltering summer in Toronto, do not just be concerned about your air conditioning system — watch out for your plumbing system, too! Make sure you have your plumber tools ready in case problems arise.
Common Summer Plumbing Problems
Extreme heat can cause several problems for your plumbing pipes. Exposure to high temperatures can make old metal pipes expand, causing them to break or leak. There are also several indirect factors that contribute to plumbing problems in summer, including:
- Dry soil
- Tree roots
- Lifestyle changes
- Increased water usage
As we face an increase in temperature in summer, we should keep an eye on potential plumbing problems. Take note of the several common summer plumbing issues you may encounter:
Long periods without rain can dry out the ground, causing your house to settle. Minor shifts in the foundation of your home can result in major movements in your water line, causing disconnections or ruptured pipes. When this occurs, make sure to have a licensed plumber in North York to check your water main for any signs of cracks and leaks. Also, dry ground causes the sewer line to settle and break.
Storms during summer can also affect copper plumbing pipes. Lightning can potentially strike near your home and cause leaks, especially if your electrical system is grounded to your plumbing system. When lightning strikes, it sends electricity through the ground and flows through metal pipes. If the electricity reaches a dead end, electric charge jumps from the metal pipe to the water, leaving a hole or crack behind.
High water pressure also causes pipes to leak or even burst. When water zips through the plumbing parts at high speeds, it puts a lot of stress on your plumbing system.
Sewer Line Backup
High summer temperatures can suddenly bring heavy rainstorms. Although it can be a refreshing break from extreme heat, rain soaking into the dry ground can loosen the soil, which can get in through the small cracks in pipes and cause a blockage.
Also, tree roots can spread and reach your main sewer lines in search of water and nutrients. This creates tiny cracks in pipes, causing it to release water vapour into the soil and cracking them.
Summer is the time for cookouts. While there may not be many large cookouts happening during the pandemic, this won’t stop people from having their own backyard sessions with their families. This means frequent usage of your garbage disposal.
However, be careful about how you dispose of your food scraps. Hard fruits and vegetables, such as watermelons and corn, and grease can be damaging to your in-sink garbage disposal blade, which could cause it to fail. Always be aware of what you put into your garbage disposal system.
Washing Machine Overload
Heavy loads are a common occurrence in the summer months, which increases the likelihood of blockages and overflows. The summer heat and activities result in more laundry. This puts additional stress on your washing machine.
Make sure to inspect the hose of the washing machine for leaks to prevent flooding.
Having to deal with a clogged toilet is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. With the children home for the summer, your toilet needs to work double-time.
To save yourself from this nasty plumbing problem, teach your kids proper bathroom etiquette, such as using only a few pieces of toilet paper for every bathroom use and not flushing stuff, like foods and baby wipes, in the toilet. Make sure to have essential plumbing supplies on hand to deal with minor blockages.
Slow Clearing Shower Drains
Many of us enjoy a trip to the beach or lake, but some may not realize that sand, dirt, and small pebbles can get caught up in their bathing suits and can go down their drain when showering. These things can accumulate and block the drain. To prevent this problem, make sure to rinse off at the beach and take off your bathing suit before showering inside your bathroom.
While the beaches and lakes are banned at present, keep these tips in mind for when they’re open to the public once again.
Plumbing Tips for the Summer
The summer heat causes an increase in the use of indoor and outdoor water, which results in the surge of your monthly water bill. To help you save money, here are some helpful tips that will save your home from a problematic plumbing system during the summer:
- Check for Leaks
After the long cold months, inspect your plumbing system before they cause major problems in the summer. These include:
- Pipes under the sink
- Bathtub spigots, faucets
- Water heater
- Plumbing valve
You might have to replace the old plumbing tape with a new one to eliminate leaks in copper or PVC pipes in a fluid system.
If you suspect that there is a leak hidden somewhere in your house, the best thing you can do is to check the water metre. Make sure that no one is using the water inside or outside your house. Check if there is any movement on the leak indicator (it could be a triangular-shaped dial or a small silver wheel). If there is movement in the dial, it indicates a leak.
Another technique is to take a metre reading and wait for an hour or 2 before taking another metre reading. if there is a change in the reading, you have a leak. In case of a leak, locate and shut off the main water valve. Check the water metre’s leak indicator for any movement. If there is no movement, it indicates a leak inside your house. If there is a change in the metre reading, the leak is located outside between the house and the metre.
- Avoid Clogs
Plumbing clogs can cause major headaches to many homeowners. To avoid toilet clogs, make sure to teach kids to avoid flushing objects such as baby wipes, tissue paper, napkins, down the commode.
To fix the clogged kitchen and bathroom drain, make sure to keep must-have plumbing tools, such as a plumbing snake and plunger, to remove the blockage. Also, never dumping food scraps and grease into your kitchen sink. Dispose of them properly in the trash bin.
- Inspect the Sewer Line
Sewer problems are common, especially during the harsh summers. Sewer lines can be brimming with rainwater during the spring months and water can leak through the small cracks in the sewer pipes.
Call a plumber to perform an annual inspection or a prompt sewer line repair on your sewer pipelines.
- Washing Machine Maintenance
A problematic washing machine can be a nightmare and a costly expense. To ensure optimum function and performance, especially during the summer, here are some helpful maintenance tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid overloading your machine.
- Check and remove debris inside the washer every month
- Clean thoroughly the detergent and fabric conditioner containers on a regular basis.
While some of these plumbing problems can be fixed by a DIY repair, there is a thin line between having a professional fix it for you or doing it by yourself. While DIY repair can help you save money, you can potentially turn a simple plumbing problem into a nightmare, which often results in a costly plumbing emergency.