Summer is here and that means beach visits, cookouts, and quality family time. While summer may mean you’re taking it easy for a few weeks (or perhaps not!), your pipes are definitely not taking it easy. In fact, summertime may bring some extra burdens on your home sewer system. Luckily, with some preventative maintenance, you can keep your sewer system in check and halt any potential summer pipe problems in their tracks.
1. Flush Appropriately
Your kids may be home during the day. You may have family or friends visiting for an extended period of time. You may have more get-togethers in your home. Any of these scenarios mean more people are using your toilet, and that means more is being flushed down it. Kids especially need to be reminded to use an appropriate amount of toilet paper (especially the younger set – they tend to love overdoing it!). Additionally, ONLY toilet paper should be flushed down. No tissues, no wipes (even “flushable” ones), and no sanitary products.
2. Launder With Care
If your family spends a lot of time at the beach or pool or doing outdoor activities this summer, you will likely experience plenty more laundry in the months of July and August. All that laundry puts a strain on your washing machine. Only run small loads and make sure any sandy clothing is properly shaken out (outdoors!) before going in the wash to prevent sand buildup in the plumbing of your washing machine. Keep an eye on your machine while it’s working so you can catch any potential problems as soon as they happen and before they turn into catastrophe (you definitely don’t want to deal with a flood!).
3. Properly Dispose of Used Cooking Oil
Barbecues and cookouts are signature summer activities, but they also come with a lot of used grease that needs to be disposed of when the party’s over. All that grease is actually quite harmful to your sewer system. You may know not to pour grease down the sink, but it’s also harmful to pour it down the toilet (see tip #1) – it will still end up in your sewer system! The best thing to do is to pour it into an empty container or bag you can tightly close/seal and throw it in the garbage.
4. Protect Your In-Sink Garbage Disposal
Corn kernels, fruit pits, and watermelon seeds are part of summer eating, but they can also clog your in-sink disposal. Make sure to scrape these items into the trash or into your compost bin to protect your in-sink disposal and prevent a clog or damage.
5. Keep Your Shower Drain Clear
Has your shower suddenly become a bath? If the water is building upon the floor of your shower, it means something is blocking the drain. This is a common summer problem due to the sand and pebbles people bring home from the beach and time outside. Make sure to rinse off at the beach when you are finished so you don’t bring unwanted sand back home. Additionally, keep your drain clear of any stray hairs while you are showering.
6. Watch Your Sprinkler Heads
There’s no question that your yard is used most heavily during the summer, which means your sprinkler heads are vulnerable to damage from lawnmowers and kids playing roughly. Inspect your sprinkler heads before the season starts and periodically throughout the summer to make sure they are in good working order.
7. Get Your Sewer Thunderstorm-Ready
Sure, it rains throughout the year, but summer thunderstorms can bring with them rain so torrential that they actually overload your sewer system. Backed up sewers due to thunderstorms are a common summer plumbing issue. Have a professional inspect your sewer system before the season starts, and make sure each drain has a plug to block water from backing up into your home.
Prompt Care of Summer Pipe Problems
By following these tips, you will keep your sewer system safe and working optimally all summer long! If you should run into any plumbing issues, make sure to call a professional right away. Plumbing issues tend to escalate quickly if not properly dealt with. At All County Sewer and Drain, Inc., our expert plumbers will help you make sure your sewer system is ready for the summer!