When you think about issues that might arise in your home during the hot and humid summer months here in Eastern Pennsylvania, odds are good it's your HVAC that first comes to mind. It's not just problems like your A/C going out, a strange uptick in your powerbill, or even the possibility of indoor air quality problems that might cause issues for you... did you know that certain plumbing problems are more likely to arise in the summer, too?
This week, we're taking a look at four common summer plumbing problems and what you can do to keep your drains running free and clear all year long.
1. Washing Machine Breakdowns
During the summer, time spent outdoors tends to be spent on active pursuits like picnics, family days at the park, or other great adventures. While nothing's more fun than a summer soccer game, it can leave your whole family throwing load after load of laundry into the washer every time you turn around. After a while, this increased usage won't just show up on your water bill — it may also show up as problems with your washing machine.
Be sure to stay around the house while doing laundry, so you can catch any problems fast and shut the machine off before they get worse (be sure to call a professional appliance repair technician with any needed repairs or concerns). Some older models may simply need a "break", so washing your laundry one load at a time instead of doing several loads at once can also help. Finally, move your washing machine out from the wall a little, as this will help keep the water hose from kinking.
2. Sprinkler Problems
Do you maintain embedded sprinklers in your lawn to help keep things green even during dryer summers? You may find they're not working as effectively when you turn them on for the season or other issues.
Rather than replace them, we suggest taking the sprinklers and giving the heads a good cleaning once a year, prior to the summer season. This can give your sprinklers a much longer lifespan and save you money! On another note, make sure you're careful when mowing the lawn to only do so when the sprinklers are not active, so that the heads are lowered, out of the way, and won't be damaged.
3. Clogged Toilets
During the summer, family members are more likely to be home during the day — children are out of school, days off from work are more common during these months, and the oppressive heat may occasionally keep everyone inside when they'd otherwise go out and visit the park or meet friends for lunch.
The easiest prevention here is simply to make sure the whole family uses a reasonable amount of toilet paper and flushes only after actually using the toilet. Never flush anything not specifically designed to be flushed. The use of a plunger should take care of most simple clogs, but if the plunger isn't able to get the job done, give Donnelly's Plumbing Heating and Cooling a call! Our friendly, professional technicians will be out right away to make sure your family's day can get back on track.
4. Garbage Disposal Clogs
These types of plumbing problems are one of the most common we see during the summer months. Kids are home, cookouts are more common, and sometimes garbage disposals just can't keep up. While it's tempting to toss just about every bit of food scraps down the drain, some things are not appropriate for disposals and will break them down over time or cause moderate to severe clogs.
Avoid putting these sorts of items down the drain whenever possible:
- Fats, grease, and oils (they solidify when cooled and quickly clog up even brand-new kitchen drains)
- Bones, cooked or uncooked
- Watermelon rinds
- Corn cobs
- Any hard produce
- Paper towels, cotton balls, or cotton swabs
Unfortunately, the list of what shouldn't go down your kitchen drain is much, much longer than the list of what should. The items above are only a partial look at what you'll need to avoid. Keep checking in at our blog; we'll be posting more detail in the future on keeping your garbage disposal healthy.
During the summer, your HVAC isn't the only home system you might find yourself worrying about. It's worth it to schedule preventative maintenance appointments for your plumbing, too! At Donnelly's Plumbing Heating and Cooling, we've spent more than four decades providing our customers here in Eastern Pennsylvania with exceptional customer service alongside quality worksmanship, experienced professionals here to lend a hand, and a focus on our local community. Sign up for our Gold Star Membership and receive discounts and priority scheduling whenever you need us! To schedule service or learn more, just give us a call at (215) 855-2014 or fill out our service request form online at any time!