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Although it may seem like a distant dream, summer is nearly here. And with summer comes the inevitable uptick in usage of your Oak Ridge, TN, home’s plumbing system. The kids are home from school. Guests are over visiting. You’re doing more laundry, washing more dishes, using more water. Your household will also likely see an increase in the use of your plumbing for outdoor sprinklers, filling up swimming pools, and other outdoor activities. This is not the time for plumbing issues to spoil the fun. Your plumbing system needs to be in optimal shape both indoors and outside, and now’s the time to give your plumbing a pre-summer checkup and get your plumber busy on any needed repairs.
First things first; make sure that your drains are working properly throughout your home. Pay close attention to the drains in every sink and shower. If you notice that water is draining slowly when you take a shower, then you may have an obstruction in the shower such as hair or other items and the slow drain capability is a sign of that. Dial your plumber right away to request drain cleaning services. With everyone spending more time at home this summer, it’s also a good time to go over the basic concepts of what can and cannot end up in the drain or in the toilet. For instance, no flushing tampon applicators or Q-tips down the toilet and no rinsing grease down the kitchen sink.
Even a slow dripping faucet can cost hundreds of dollars over the course of time when it comes to wasted water. And besides, Mother Nature frowns on water wastage. Inspect all your faucets and other water outlets inside and outside your home, looking for leaks or signs of wear and tear, and call your plumber for a quick fix if you find anything amiss.
Check Your Hot Water Heater
If your home is like most, summertime translates to getting sweaty and hot and showering more often than normal. And those showers require lots of hot water. Make sure that your hot water heater is up to par, since it will bear the brunt of the usage uptick for the entire household. Now is the time to consider flushing and draining the hot water heater in your home, and during the process it is a good idea to check out the heating elements and the unit’s anode rod. If you have a gas unit, the gas burner assembly should be checked, and if necessary, replaced. Most homeowners will need to contact a plumber to check out their hot water heaters and provide a professional inspection.
Hoses and Valves
Floods and leaks due to hoses and valves that are in poor working condition or malfunctioning are a big cause of calls to plumbers in the summertime. A major cause of summer floods in the home is faulty washing machine hoses. Do a thorough inspection of all of the hoses and valves that make up your home’s plumbing system. Hoses should fit tightly and valves should turn on and off easily. If they don’t, ask your plumber for help.
Any seasonal inspection of your plumbing system should include an inspection of the water pressure coming into the shower and all sinks. Water pressure can have a big effect on the entire plumbing system and cause problems for you when it comes to showering and getting laundry done. However, if the water pressure in your home is poor, it can be a sign of something more ominous, such as a clogged pipe or drain. A dirty showerhead can cause poor water pressure in the bathroom. If you are noticing less than ideal water pressure, give your local professional a call and get to the root of the problem before it gets out of hand.
Your outdoor plumbing takes a beating, so be sure to inspect it for damage before the dog days of summer set in. Check your hoses to determine if there are any leaks, and replace or patch hoses that are worn or leaking. Inspect sprinklers by connecting the faucet and allowing them to run for a while. Look for puddles of water on the lawn, which may indicate a leaking connecting pipe or a pipe failure. Inspect your outdoor faucets for leaks, and make sure they turn on and off easily. This is also a good time to clean your gutters since debris from spring blooms and such can back up and cause a blockage and the ensuing poor drainage that follows. If you can’t do it yourself, your plumber can.
Getting Ready for Vacation
And last of all, if you are going away on vacation, be sure to take the appropriate steps with your plumbing system before you head out. Leaks and flooding can occur even when your plumbing system is not being used. Locate and turn off your plumbing at the water master switch just to be on the safe side. If you have one, give your sump pump a once-over too. Storms that crop up in the summer can lead to flooding in areas prone to it, so it’s crucial you don’t leave home without knowing your sump pump is ready for the possibility. Testing is simple and easy; just make sure your sump pump is on, pour a bucket of water into the pump, and then be sure that it starts pumping the water out right away. If it doesn’t, call your plumber for service.
Weak water pressure and slow-moving drains may seem like minor inconveniences, but the truth is if you allow a plumbing issue to go unchecked for an indefinite time, you can end up with costly repairs and out-of-service plumbing in your home that can put a damper on summertime activities. Schedule a plumbing check-up with your local Oak Ridge, TN, plumber at My Professional Plumber and stave off any potential problems this summer.