7 Important Tips for Summer Plumbing Preparation

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated January 17, 2022
Girl running summer smile sprinkler
Photo: xavierarnau / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Plumbing gets a workout in the summer because people tend to be home more.

  • Summer is a great time to inspect values, faucets, and your hot water heater.

  • Coach your visitors on the proper way to dispose of trash to help prevent stoppages.

  • DIY test your sump pump or enlist the help of a pro.

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Summertime is plumber time! The influx of family members hanging out at home coupled with extended vacation vacancies can all put a strain on your plumbing system. Learn how to keep your plumbing pristine and protected during the dog days of summer.

1. Get Your Hoses and Valves Inspected

Our guard is down during the summer because we assume that only frozen pipes pose a leak risk. However, loose hoses and connections can also cause flooding. Do these three things to prevent summertime leaks:

  • Inspect every hose for a tight fit

  • Turn all valves on and off to make sure they work

  • Examine your washing machine hose, which is a common summer plumbing problem

Don’t let loose connections linger. Bring in a local plumber near you at the first sign of wear and tear to avoid costly leaks.

2. Confirm That Your Hot Water Heater Works

A hot water heater can slip your mind in the summer. However, this is the ideal time to drain and inspect the heater without fear of freezing. You'll also have less competition if you need to book an appointment for a repair or replacement because winter is the busy season for hot water heaters.

3. Check Water Pressure

Before jetting off to your summer vacation, check your water pressure, as dormant toilets and faucets can actually build up pressure in your plumbing system while you're away.

Consider having a pressure regulator installed for peace of mind. The ideal pressure for the health of your plumbing system and appliances is between 40 and 60 PSI. A plumber can give you a crystal-clear reading if you don’t have a pressure gauge.

4. Audit Your Outdoor Faucets and Hose Bibs

Man water garden with hose
Photo: Blend Images - Peathegee Inc / Getty Images

How do your outdoor faucets look? Summer is a great time to consider new hose bibs. Replacing rusty, hard to open, or just old, worn-out bibs should be on your summer to-do list. 

5. Remind Visitors Where to Put Trash Items

If your home is the hangout spot for neighborhood kids during the summer, a little plumbing education is in order! It's common for visitors to flush things like paper towels, tissues, and cotton swabs down the toilet when they can't find the trash. Ensure your trash cans are clearly marked to avoid expensive clogs and stoppages.

6. Test Your Sump Pump

Summer rains can tax a sump pump. On the other hand, a dry summer can be the perfect time to test your sump pump. Bring in a plumbing pro to ensure it can handle the storms that are coming to avoid a messy flood at your home's foundation. 

To DIY test:

  • Make sure your basement floor and the pit where the pump rests are clear of any debris that could clog the intake valves. 

  • Dump water into the pit and check to see how the pump does its job. 

  • If it runs for more than ten seconds, it’s not pumping fast enough. 

7. Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clear

All of the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat during the summer can overwork a garbage disposal. Misusing your garbage disposal can damage your appliance, the pipes, or both. Be careful about things like fruit skins, corn husks, and pits. Purchase a larger trash can to keep things out of the disposal and ensure all guests know exactly what a garbage disposal can handle.

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