When the summer heat rolls in, many homeowners have cooling system troubles on the radar. However, a home’s plumbing system can be more prone to certain issues during this season, too. Williams Comfort Air shared the most common plumbing issues that tend to affect homes over the summer and potential causes, so you can be on the lookout and call for service as soon as you see symptoms.
Many Hoosiers enjoy time in the great outdoors over the summer months. Dirt, sand, and other natural debris can be tracked into the home after a long day of fun outside, which wash away when you shower or bathe. These particles can build up in your home’s drain lines, creating a restriction or blockage in the pipes that causes the shower or tub to drain slowly.
In the summer, many households host guests who are traveling or host gatherings that bring more people into the home. When your home fills up due to visitors and kids who are home throughout the day, your toilets are used more than they are during other times of the year and it’s more likely that toilet clogs will occur. Toilets commonly clog due to flushing improper items down the drain or using too much toilet paper, and plunging may not clear the problem if a tough clog has formed.
With summer comes cookouts and holiday gatherings, and for many Hoosier families, these events involve food preparation and cooking. Your household may experience a higher volume of scraps and leftover food items, which are commonly disposed of using a kitchen garbage disposal. When the usage of your garbage disposal increases, so does the likelihood of a clog due to putting improper items down the drain or attempting to dispose of large volumes of food pieces that the system simply cannot handle.
More guests and more meals served during the summer season can also impact your dishwasher. It’s easy to overfill the racks in attempt to clear messes in fewer loads, but this can cause appliance problems that may result in leaks.
Too many items may prevent the dishwasher door from properly shutting and locking during a cleaning cycle. Dropped items or improper loading may force the dishwasher’s float assembly to stick in an up position, which can cause the unit to overfill with water because the float does not properly move to signal the water supply to turn off. Using too much dishwasher soap creates a heavy volume of suds, which expand and seep out the door. Heavy use leads to more food particles which can clog the dishwasher filter, leading to leaks and unclean dishes.
More people in the home over the summer months means sink faucets experience more use. Anytime a fixture experiences a higher rate of use, the chances of a component breaking increase, which is a common reason for a leaky faucet. These leaks, even when they appear slow, are known to cause significant water waste within a household.
With kids home for the summer months and outdoor fun, your family may have more dirty laundry so the home’s washing machine gets more of a workout this season. Heavier loads or more loads ran each week increases the possibility of issues with this appliance.
Heavy loads can overtax the washing machine, causing it to overflow and leak a large amount of water at once. Washing more clothes and linens increases the possibility of washing machine drain clogs caused by soap residue building up in the line and a greater amount of lint and fabric particles that need to be drained.
With increased washing machine use, a leak in the water supply hoses could pop up during the summer. These hoses typically last 3 to 5 years, but many homeowners don’t realize they should be periodically replaced.
When a period of summer storms and heavy rains comes through, basement flooding is a possibility. The ground becomes extremely saturated with water, which makes its way into basements through cracks in the foundation. If your home’s sump pump malfunctions due to lack of power, mechanical issues, or discharge line clogs, your home could experience severe damage.
Summer dry spells force tree roots to extend further into the soil in search of groundwater. However, they may find your sewer pipes first. If there are any openings in the line, no matter how minute, tree roots can penetrate the pipe. The roots begin to grow within the sewer pipe, where they will cause waste to build up, eventually forming a clog.
As the ground thaws, shifting may occur which can cause damage to the sewer lines. Landscaping equipment and vehicles driving through the yard above may also break a buried drainpipe. The damaged pipe alone can block your sewer line, and soil or pebbles can fall into the pipe through the damaged area, blocking drainage from your home.
With no way to flow out to the municipal sewer system or septic tank, waste and wastewater have nowhere else to go but back up the drains in your home. Slow drainage is often the first sign of this issue. If no action is taken to correct it, eventually you could end up with sewage backing up into your home. This exposure can be hazardous to your family’s health and signal the need for serious plumbing repairs.
A hose bibb is another name for the outdoor spigot where a garden hose is connected. If you did not winterize your hose bibbs last fall, water may have frozen within the lines over the winter, which can cause the piping to crack. Also, washers within the hose bibb assembly may wear out or the packing nut comes loose, which can also cause a drip outside your home.
Once it’s time to start caring for the lawn again, sprinkler issues are more likely to arise. They’re commonly hit by lawnmowers and landscaping equipment, causing damage to the sprinkler heads. Increasing the use of your outdoor living areas due to nicer weather brings more traffic to your lawn and increases the likelihood that sprinkler heads could be tripped over, stepped on, or even ran over and damaged.
In homes with underground irrigation systems for lawns and landscaping, troubles are most likely to be noticed in the summer months. Once you turn on your irrigation system for the first time this season, you may find soggy spots in the yard or notice low output from sprinkler heads, which can indicate a leak due to a broken irrigation system pipe. Damage to these pipes can occur due to freezing and thawing soil over the winter and spring seasons, as well as accidental damage when installing new landscaping or doing yard work.
More time spent outdoors and hot summer temperatures cause the body to sweat. Showering and bathing frequency typically increase during the summer months. This places a higher demand on your water heater, which it may not be able to keep up with. Tank water heaters can only offer so much hot water at a time and once it’s gone, you must wait – if showers are taken one after the other, there may not be enough hot water for everyone. Tankless water heaters heat water as it is needed and may not have the ability to provide sufficient hot water when more than one shower or bath is taken at the same time.
Many Hoosier homeowners have higher water bills during the summer season. Increased water utility costs can be attributed to a number of causes, including:
Some of the causes for higher summer water bills can’t really be helped, but others can. Putting an end to leaks in the home’s plumbing water supply system, both indoors and out, can drastically lower household water consumption depending on the severity of leaks. Adjusting household habits can also help your family conserve more water this season.
If you experience any of the 13 most common summer plumbing problems in your Indianapolis area home, don’t wait to contact a plumber. Resolve these issues at the first sign of trouble to prevent water waste, leaks, and potential water damage to your home.
Williams Comfort Air’s licensed plumbers are always available to assist with your household plumbing needs. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services to stop plumbing malfunctions that pose a threat of water damage or leave your household without water. To schedule plumbing repair services, contact us today.