You might think that only cold seasons can give your plumbing system a hard time. We often associate plumbing issues to frozen pipes, busted faucets, and so on. In Oklahoma City, summertime can also add wear and tear your plumbing system due to increased water usage during hot days.
During the summer, people usually go outdoors to take vacations, swim, ride bikes, visit friends and family, and do fun things while the weather is beautiful. All these activities also mean more flushes in the toilet, dishes to clean, loads of clothes to wash, filling the pools, sprinkle the lawn, and water the plants.
Disrupting R&R with your family to search for “a 24 hr plumber near me” for your emergency plumbing needs can be bothersome! That is why ensuring that your plumbing system to be summer-ready is crucial to enjoying the season!
One of the most common problems in your water system is leaks. Around 10% of American homes experience water leaks that waste more than 90 gallons of water in a day.
Inspect for any leaks
You won’t see the problem if you will not take a more in-depth look into your water fixture. Summer is the best time to look for any leaks in your pipes, sink, toilet, and other water sources. You can also take advantage of the warm weather to mend any plumbing issues you will notice before it gets cold.
- The toilet. One technique you can use is to put food coloring in the tank and see if it will leak on the toilet floor without flushing it. If you see any sign of leaks, check the tank floater and the valve to see if it is still in good condition. Typically, these things wear out over time, especially during increased usage.
- The bathtub. Inspect around the edge of the bathtub if it’s securely sealed to the wall tile. Then apply new grout for any chip or a missing portion to prevent the water from leaking into the wall or underneath the tub. Also, press the wall tiles where shower and bathtub meet and make sure it doesn’t feel soft and securely attached to the wall. If so, it could indicate a hidden water leak.
- The water heater. It usually collects mineral deposits that could build up over time. So, you must take off these deposits to maintain the efficiency of your water heater. While doing that, look for any corrosion or rust that can cause water leaks.
- The overall water or plumbing system. A straightforward way to check for water leakage at home is to take note of your water meter, then after an hour or two, recheck the meter and see if there is any consumption. Make sure that no one is at home who can use the water system.
Preventing Plumbing Leaks
“Prevention is better than cure” rings true to plumbing systems! Proper maintenance and preparation for summertime is a must. Here are a few tips to make sure that your plumbing stays in good condition:
- Monitor the water pressure. Ideally, the household standard water pressure is 40-45 pounds per square inch and shouldn’t exceed 60 psi. You can measure it by installing a store-bought gauge to an outside spigot. Or, you can use a pressure regulator to prevent bursting pipes caused by sudden high-water pressure. Any changes in pressure might signify a leak or broken pipe anywhere in your home or water line.
- Clean your sprinkler system. A faulty sprinkler could not just kill your grass but can skyrocket your water bill since leaks are usually underground. Before summer starts, you must clean your sprinkler and check for any damaged part that needs to be replaced. Some sprinkler systems might not have a rain sensor, so it’s best to install one if your sprinkler doesn’t have it yet.
- Familiarize yourself with the main water valve. As a homeowner, you must know where to locate your main water valve. There are instances where you need to turn it off, such as when a Oklahoma City OK plumber needs to fix some pipes or if you need the water to stop from a massive pipe burst. Some main water valves are located inside the house, such as the garage, basement, or utility closet. Some can be found outside, like in the yard, street, curb, or sidewalk. If you are not sure, ask your Oklahoma City OK plumber where it is possibly located.
- Clean your drains. If you notice slow flushing in your toilets, do not wait until it causes severe problems like sewer back-ups. Clogs are some of the most common reasons for critical plumbing issues each year. Instead, use a plunger to clean your drains or use small sink traps over your pipes to block the unwanted food or objects into the hole.
- Clear the gutters. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of things that cause plumbing problems, but clean gutters are vital to maintaining your plumbing system. Having it clear from any debris could keep the water away from the house foundation. Make it a habit to remove debris on your gutters such as twigs, leaves, and other materials, especially if the rainy days are soon to come.
- Utilizing the sump pump. If you have a part of your house that’s located below the ground level, the sump pump is a great idea to stay dry during summer thunderstorms. A sump pump is strategically located in the lowest part of your home, usually in the basement or crawl space. Once you turn on the fixture, it will pump out the water to the outside through a discharge pipe.
Plumbing Maintenance Plan
It is costly to keep your plumbing system up in every season, but following the above mentioned tips can save you money in wasted water and emergency plumbing service. However, adding a plumbing preventive maintenance plan to your list will not just resolve simple plumbing problems but also detect underlying issues in your plumbing system.
To resolve all your plumbing problems—and help keep your plumbing system well maintained for the summer season and beyond—contact Southwest Mechanical Contractors today! Call us at 405-632-3381 today. We’re here 24/7 for all your emergency needs in Oklahoma.