It’s summertime, and daily living can be challenging if something goes wrong with your home’s plumbing system. Summer in most households brings more visitors, activity, and water usage. Refrain from letting the increased load of work in summer stress your plumbing. Use these proactive and preventative steps to prepare your plumbing system this summer.

Look for Leaks

Summer is a good season to check for leaks since winter may have put a brunt on plumbing you didn’t see. The warm weather will allow you to address any issues before the cold returns. Individually inspect every aspect of your plumbing indoors and outdoors. That includes every faucet, shower head, around appliances, and underneath sinks.

Check toilets for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring in the tank and see if it enters the bowl without flushing. Wiggle the toilet back and forth to see if the floor underneath feels sponging. Check the floater and valve in the tank for wear and tear. Press on the shower surround to feel for softness.

If you notice a saturated spot in one area of your yard, it could indicate a burst pipe under the ground.

Call a professional plumber immediately if you find any leaks.

Keep the Clogs Away

If you have any slow drains or toilets with weak flushes, warm weather is the best time to address them. You may be able to deal with routine clogs if armed with a good plunger or inexpensive auger; however, know when to call the pros for more serious clogs. Slow-flushing toilets or gray water gurgling into tubs after heavy rain should be checked by a professional. Tree roots may have grown into the septic or sewer lines.

Cracks in pipes can also be the culprit of clogs since they can’t do their job correctly. Any water backups into the bathtub or other drains need to be checked by a professional.

Check Your Water Pressure

More outdoor activity typically means more showering, laundering, and other utility usage in summer. It’s even more critical that you maintain good water pressure. Purchase a gauge from your local home store and measure your water pressure by attaching it to an outside faucet. It should read between 40 and 45 lbs per square inch and never exceed 60 psi.

Low water pressure is irritating and high pressure can damage utilities and appliances. A plumbing professional knows how to locate and adjust your pressure regulator.

Check the Water Heater

Check your water heater for signs of leaks, rust, and corroded hardware. If your house has hard water, mineral deposits can build up and impede flow. Summer is a good time to have plumbing professionals flush out the water heater’s tank. They’ll perform other maintenance like changing the anode rods or adjusting the setting if you constantly run low on hot water.

Will you be taking an extended summer vacation? Consider turning the water heater off while you’re away to save on your utility bill. Look for a knob labeled “low” or “vacation.”

Inspect Outdoor Faucets and Hoses

Winter’s harsh weather often damages your outdoor faucets and any hoses that weren’t stored for the season. You’ll want these hoses and faucets functioning at their best for all your outdoor chores and summer fun. Turn on the water and look for faucet leaks. Inspect hoses for cracks or holes and damaged bibs or fittings. Purchase a repair kit to fix hoses or replace them if they’re beyond repair.

A licensed professional plumber can repair or replace your leaky outdoor faucets.

Service Your Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system is essential to maintain a lush lawn, especially during dry hot summers. A faulty one can drastically increase your water bill as well as harm your grass with too little or too much water in one area. Open your sprinklers up slowly at the start of summer and test one zone at a time.

A professional familiar with sprinkler systems can inspect the entire system for damage and leaks that may render it ineffective. Check your contract; it may include servicing your sprinkler system for summer preparations. Ask our plumbers about adding a rain sensor if you don’t have one.

Clear the Gutters and Downspouts

Consider your gutters and downspouts as part of your outdoor plumbing system. They help keep water from pooling around your home’s foundation by flushing it through the gutters and downspouts.

Your gutter system can’t do its job if it’s clogged with leaves and debris. The beginning of summer is the time to clean the gutters of twigs and seedlings from spring.

Test Your Sump Pump

The beginning of summer is the time to test your sump pump if you have one. Summer storms can be strong and bring heavy rains. Turn it on first to make sure it’s getting power. Then pour in a bucket of water to see if it gets processed. Once you determine that it’s working properly, shut the pump off.

If you don’t have a sump pump in your basement or crawl space, it’s a good time to have a professional install one. It will be cheaper than cleaning up a flooded basement.

Clean Your Drains

Make sure all the drains in and outside your home are clear and running freely. A summer cleaning by a professional will remove winter’s dirt and debris. Your drains will be ready to handle summer showers, washing off suntan oil, sand, and soap.

If you have any outdoor drains, check to ensure they aren’t blocked by debris.

Know How to Find Your Main Water Valve

Is your main water valve out in the yard or near the street? It may get covered by the lush lawn of summer or debris. Know exactly where it is and how to shut the water off during a plumbing emergency. Doing so can keep you from incurring water damage should you have a burst pipe or other plumbing malfunction. If you don’t know how, ask our plumbers to show you during an inspection or routine service call.

If you take a summer vacation away from home, it’s a good idea to turn off your main water valve just in case. If you have a pool or sprinkler system that requires a constant water supply, have a friend or neighbor check while you’re away. You can also turn off the water supply at each appliance.

Get a Professional Inspection

In addition to checking out your home’s plumbing yourself this summer, schedule a comprehensive plumbing inspection with our professional plumbers. They have the experience, expertise, and equipment to catch underlying issues that the untrained eye misses. They will perform a thorough leak inspection and check for damaged and corroded pipes and parts.

Our team will advise you of any necessary repairs and suggest upgrades to keep your home’s plumbing up-to-date and operating optimally.

Let Thermo Direct in Raliegh help prepare your plumbing system for summer. We are licensed and skilled to perform an array of plumbing jobs including leak detection, drain cleaning, clog removal, pipe repairs, and more. We also install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems.

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