Summer is in the air, and for most, that means pool parties, gardens full of fresh veggies, and relaxing in the sun. A plumbing emergency can quickly interrupt your summer, turning what should be "play time" into a period of worries and high bills. Here's a look at three plumbing problems that are especially common in the summer -- and some tips for preventing each one.
Sewer Line Backups
Sewer lines can clog at any time of year, but these clogs tend to be most common in the summer. Many clogs are caused, at least in part, by tree roots growing into the sewer lines. Growth tends to accelerate when the weather gets warmer. If your drains seem slow or they are emitting foul odors, these are signs that you may have roots beginning to grow into the lines. Have a plumber out to inspect the pipes before you end up with a complete sewage backup. If they do discover tree roots, they can pour special herbicide compounds down your pipes to kill the roots before they make the clog any worse.
You can also help prevent sewer backups by not flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste. Keep the toilet lid closed if you have kids or have kids visiting your home in the summer; you won't want them to flush a toy or sock down the toilet!
Seized Garbage Disposals
Garbage disposals are often made to work overtime in the summer since you may have more fresh veggie peels to put down them -- along with summer parties where you're preparing food for the masses. It's not uncommon for a disposal to seize up or clog. You can prevent this issue by always running cold water as you slowly drop pieces of food down the disposal. Never shove everything down at once. Also, do not put fibrous foods like corn husks and onion peels down the disposal since they can wind around the grinder and cause it to seize.
Flooding Septic Tanks
If your home has a septic system, you may find that the tank overflows when you have a big storm or a lot of visitors in your home. This can lead to dangerous sewage in your backyard. Prevent septic problems by having your tank pumped regularly (every three years works well for many homes). If you have house guests over the summer, space out your showers so you don't overflow the tank. Also, try not to flush feminine hygiene products or wet wipes, as these decompose very slowly and take up space in the tank, reducing the amount of space left for fluids.
For more information, contact companies like Roto Rooter Plumbing & Sewer-Drain Service.