The days are getting longer and hotter, final exams are underway, and those family vacation plans are nearly complete; what does all this mean? You guessed it… summer is almost here!
For the conscious home owner, summer isn’t quite as glamorous as it appears on TV and in movies. Utility bills skyrocket, appliances falter, and that short checklist of home repairs seems to double overnight. This is why the pros at Michigan’s own Premier Plumbing have created a list of helpful summer plumbing tips to save you time and money this season! These 5 hints are sure to prepare even the most novice home owner for the worst that summer has to offer.
5 Summer Plumbing Tips That Will Save You Money Today
1. Check for Leaks
It’s worth it to spend a day searching your home for leaks. This includes sinks, faucets, water lines, dishwasher hoses, water heaters, and anywhere else water moves or is stored. An ill-placed leak can cause astronomical damage to your home, and worse, your health. Buildup of mildew and mold is a well documented health risk, and can occur in the most unexpected of places like inside your kitchen cabinets or in the walls of your furnace closet.
If you are experiencing a leak, the first step is to diagnose where the leak may be coming from, and how much water is being lost. Here are a few more things to consider…
- In the event of a leaky connection from a drain line or shutoff valve, sometimes an application of plumbers tape or a light turn of a wrench can work wonders!
- If the leak is originating from inside of a wall or an area you cannot physically reach, it is recommended to let a professional handle the repair.
- PRO TIP: Check the water meter at a time when no appliances or person is using water in the house. If the meter continues to rise, you likely have a leak that needs to be addressed immediately!
Water leaks within a home should always be taken seriously. If you live in the metro Detroit area, please schedule a home visit with Premier Plumbing, Inc to have a licensed plumber diagnose and repair the leak, and even offer advice in reversing the damage and handling insurance.
2. Clear the Drains
Debris in your drain lines can be a definite nuisance. Most homeowners leave these issues unaddressed, leading to catastrophic plumbing bills down the line. During the summer months, drain cleaning becomes an important matter as your family is using sinks, toilets, showers, and appliances morning to night. A clog left untreated can damage pipes, and lead to septic back flow or worse!\
Summer Plumbing Tips for Keeping Drains Clean
- Keep a plunger nearby, and not just a cheap one! Invest in a stable common sink/cup plunger for multi-use around the house.
- Plungers aren’t just for toilets! A minor clog can be released from a sink drain with a plunger.
- Make sure your kids know the rules when it comes to flushing or draining. Items like hygiene products, paper towel, and solid food can create serious backups in your toilet, sink, or tub drains.
- Be weary of drain-clearing chemicals like Drano. Although they advertise universal safety in all homes, these chemicals can sometimes not only fail to unclog the drain, but corrode your pipes, crack your toilet bowls, and even destabilize your septic tank.
- For stubborn clogs, it is best to let a professional deal with it! Local plumbing services regularly offer deals on drain cleaning.
Premier Plumbing offers specialized drain cleaning services to 8 counties in southeast Michigan including Oakland, Wayne, and Livingston. Please visit premierplumbing-mi.com/plumbing-coupons for current deals and offers.
3. Inspect your Sprinklers
One of the most neglected systems in many homes is the sprinkler system, so we wanted to be sure to include a sprinkler inspection in our summer plumbing tips. We’ve all seen the wayward sprinkler flooding the sidewalk, or the leaky sprinkler head drowning the surround plants and grass. These easily corrected issues can mean wasted dollars and destroyed lawns.
How to Inspect your Sprinkler System
- Physically inspect each sprinkler head for damage. This includes leaks, misalignment, dripping, or wet/soft ground at the base. While it’s sometimes easy to replace a broken sprinkler head, an underground leak or insistent drip can damage your yard and cost you a boatload.
- Make sure the sprinklers are pointed in the right direction. Common sense right? But many homeowners never stop to make sure their sprinkler system is doing its job. A large buildup of water near your home’s foundation is a serious issue. Also, too much water spraying on a fence or against a home not only wastes water, but strips paint and encourages mildew and mold growth.
- Check the configuration of your system. Are you watering the grass during a tornado? This is likely due to lack of a rain sensor, but other issues can arise from a badly configured sprinkler system. It’s best to consult a professional if you are unsure how to configure your system.
Regular flooding in the lower levels of your home can signal trouble with your sump pump. Need a pro to repair your pump? Contact the Commerce sump pump replacement specialists Premier Plumbing, Inc today!
4. Prepare your Home for Vacation
Summer vacations are great, but they can really break the bank if you’re not careful. Why not save every cent possible right here at home? When planning long trips away from the house, take precautions to lower your bills and protect against the chance of a plumbing catastrophe.
- Shut off your water at the main valve. If you don’t plan on running the water inside or outside of your house, you may as well shut it off! Nothing worse than coming home to a flooded kitchen or water stains on your walls.
- If no one is sleeping, showering, cooking, or storing food in your home for a while, it may not be a bad idea to adjust the setting on some appliances. Lowering the temperature on your water heater, and turning up or completely shutting off your fridge and AC can save you a good chunk of change during a lengthy vacation.
- Address leaks and drips. Like we’ve mentioned before, leaks and drips can be costly, but when left unmanaged, they can destroy floors, encourage mold growth, and attract nasty pests like ants and roaches. If you aren’t able to get the problem fixed before heading out, simply shutting off the valve behind the fixture or appliance can offer a temporary fix.
5. Keep Those Gutters Debris-Free
One of our simplest summer plumbing tips is also one of the most important…. clean your gutters! A combination of spring flowers and showers can lead to debris buildup in your gutters. Left unchecked, the gutters may improperly route rainwater into your attic, basement, and foundation. When summer hits, be sure to inspect your gutters and clear them out if necessary.
*So there you have it, 5 summer plumbing tips from the plumbing pros here at Premier Plumbing! Now go out and treat yourself to some barbecue and a cold drink, just don’t flush your paper towel down the toilet!