- Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120° to prevent scalding and reduce energy use. Summer is a good time to turn the temperature down, especially when away on vacation !!!!
- Replacing an old shower head can save up to 7.5 gallons of water per minute without sacrificing water pressure. To clean mineral deposits from the showerhead, unscrew it, soak it in vinegar overnight and then gently scrub with a toothbrush to remove deposits. (To see step by step directions with pictures, go to http://jefftheplumber.blogspot.com/2012/01/clean-shower-head-for-2012.html)
- Check outdoor faucets/hoses to make sure water flows freely and they aren’t leaking and wasting precious water.
- Conserve water. Water your lawn before sunup or after sundown to reduce usage.
- Take a look at your bathroom. Check around the bottom of the toilet for any signs of leaks. If there are stains or if the floor seems spongy, there could be a possible leak. Check for any loose tiles above and around the bathtub or shower because loose tiles could indicate a possible leak.
- Your kids are outside playing, getting dirty, going swimming, etc. The more they do, the more clothes there are to wash. Be sure to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks and be sure to remove drier lint regularly. Also, move your machine at least four inches from the wall to prevent hose kinking and damage, and never leave your home while the washer is running. Remember--washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years.
- Be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your BBQs. Most are not equipped to handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other fibrous or “stringy” foods. Some other items to stay away from are fats or cooking oils because they form clots in the pipes. Run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after you put anything down the disposal to flush it through. Never put instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar “just-add-water” foods down the drain—they'll create an instant clog when you add water.
- Sewer line backups are common this time of year because of rainwater, pipe cracks, etc. New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of nutrition. If you are experiencing clogs in your bathroom or kitchen, have a plumber come and inspect your sewer line pipes for roots.
Keep these plumbing tips on your mind because the summer time can be an awful time to have plumbing issues. Should anything occur, you could be without your shower or toilet facilities which could create one unhappy household, especially if you have company over when it happens. Checking these areas before a problem happens or catching a problem early can save you lots of money in the future. Whether you know a bit about plumbing and can fix these problems yourself before they get complicated, or if you have to call a plumber, it will still be less expensive to fix small problems before they turn into large ones.