Summer Plumbing Maintenance Checklist: Essential Tips for a Trouble-Free Season

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Mark Jardine
May 14, 2024
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Here is our summer plumbing maintenance checklist. Say goodbye to clogs, leaks, and pesky surprises and hello to a trouble-free season of relaxation.
Sit back, grab a cold drink, and let's dive into these essential tips to keep your plumbing in shipshape condition.

Importance of Summer Plumbing Maintenance for a Trouble-Free Season

Summer is the time for enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, so it's no fun to have a plumbing problem that ruins your plans. That's why summer plumbing maintenance is a must! By taking proactive measures to inspect and maintain your plumbing system, you can avoid unexpected headaches and costly repairs down the line.
So, don't let plumbing problems rain on your parade - invest a little time and effort now to save yourself from future stress, time, and money. Trust us, and it's worth it!

Check Outdoor Faucets and Hoses for Leaks or Damage

Inspecting your outdoor faucets and hoses ensures efficient water usage and prevents wastefulness. From tiny leaks to hidden damage, these culprits can silently drain your resources and inflate your water bills. Our expert tips will help you become a leak detective, empowering you to promptly detect and address any issues.
5 expert tips for detecting any leaks or damage, ensuring efficient water usage, and preventing wastefulness:
  1. Regularly monitor your water bill for any sudden spikes in usage, which could indicate a hidden leak.
  2. Conduct periodic visual inspections of pipes, faucets, and plumbing fixtures for signs of leaks, such as moisture, stains, or corrosion.
  3. Be attentive to any unusual sounds like dripping or running water, as they may indicate a hidden leak.
  4. Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances, such as low-flow showerheads and toilets, to minimize water wastage.
  5. Promptly repair any dripping faucets or leaking toilets to prevent water waste and conserve resources.

Inspect and Clean Gutters and Downspouts for Proper Drainage

Inspecting and cleaning gutters and downspouts is crucial to prevent water damage and flooding. Proper maintenance ensures efficient water drainage and protects your property from expensive repairs.
Step-by-step guidance for inspecting and cleaning gutters and downspouts:
  1. Start by safely accessing your gutters using a sturdy ladder.
  2. You can use a scoop or wear gloves and manually remove any debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, to clean the gutters.
  3. Check for any signs of damage, including cracks or sagging sections.
  4. You can use a hose to flush water through the gutters and downspouts to ensure proper flow.
  5. Inspect downspouts for clogs and clear them using a plumber's snake or pressure washer.
  6. Repair any leaks or damaged sections with gutter sealant or by replacing the affected parts.
  7. Install gutter guards to prevent future debris accumulation and reduce the frequency of cleaning.

Clean Your Sump Pump to Prevent Basement Flooding

Maintaining your sump pump is vital to safeguard your basement from potential flooding. Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure proper functioning, effectively removing excess water and preventing costly damage to your home's foundation and belongings.
5 practical tips for inspecting and cleaning your sump pump, keeping your basement dry and protected:
  1. Regular inspection: Check the sump pump for any visible indication of damage or wear, such as cracks or loose connections.
  2. Clear debris: Remove any debris or obstructions from the sump pit to ensure proper water flow.
  3. Test the float switch: Fill the sump pit with water to activate the float switch and ensure the pump starts and stops as it should.
  4. Clean the pump components: Gently clean the pump, impeller, and discharge pipe to remove any accumulated dirt or debris.
  5. Test the backup power: If your sump pump has a backup battery or generator, test its functionality to ensure it can kick in during power outages.

Examine Outdoor Drains for Clogs or Debris Buildup

Clear outdoor drains are crucial in preventing water backups and potential damage. By removing clogs and debris buildup, you ensure proper drainage, minimizing the risk of flooding and protecting your property from water-related issues.
5 effective methods for examining and clearing drains to ensure proper water flow:
  1. Visual Inspection: Check for any visible debris, leaves, or other obstructions around the drain openings. Remove them manually using gloves or a small tool.
  2. Flushing with Water: Use a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle attachment to flush water through the drains. This can help dislodge and wash away any stubborn debris.
  3. Plumbing Snake or Drain Auger: If there are persistent clogs, use a plumbing snake or drain auger to reach deeper into the drain and break up or remove blockages.
  4. Chemical Drain Cleaners: As a last resort, consider using a chemical drain cleaner specifically formulated for outdoor drains. Follow the instructions and use these products sparingly.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Implement a routine maintenance schedule to keep outdoor drains clear. Regularly remove debris and perform preventive measures to maintain optimal water flow.

Insulate Exposed Pipes to Protect Against Extreme Temperatures

Insulating exposed pipes during summer is important to prevent heat transfer, maintain water temperature, and reduce the risk of pipe damage. It improves energy efficiency, prevents condensation, and ensures consistent water flow, protecting your plumbing system from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Insulate Exposed Pipes:
  1. Gather the necessary materials: foam pipe insulation sleeves, duct tape, a utility knife, and measuring tape.
  2. To determine the amount of insulation needed, measure the length of the pipes that are exposed.
  3. Cut the foam insulation sleeves to match the measured length of the pipes using a utility knife.
  4. Make a lengthwise cut along each sleeve, allowing you to easily wrap it around the pipe.
  5. Open the cut sleeve and place it around the exposed pipe, ensuring a snug fit.
  6. You can use duct tape to secure the insulation, wrapping it tightly around the sleeve's seams.
  7. Continue insulating all exposed pipes, paying special attention to areas prone to freezing or condensation.
  8. Insulate pipe joints and fittings using pre-formed foam insulation or wrapping them with insulation tape.
  9. Check for any gaps or exposed areas and add additional insulation as needed.
  10. Verify that all insulation is properly secured and covers the entire length of the exposed pipes.

Test Your Water Heater's Pressure Relief Valve

Testing the pressure relief valve is essential to keep the safety and efficiency of your water heater. By ensuring its proper functioning, you can prevent the risk of excessive pressure buildup, potential leaks, and potential damage to the water heater or your property.
To test your water heater's pressure relief valve and ensure optimal performance, follow these steps:
  1. Locate the pressure relief valve: The water heater's location can usually be found on the side or top of the unit.
  2. Prepare a bucket or container: Place a bucket or container below the valve to catch any water that may be released during the test.
  3. Turn off the power supply: For electric water heaters, switch off the circuit breaker dedicated to the water heater. For gas water heaters, switch the gas control knob to the "pilot" position.
  4. Open the valve: To open the pressure relief valve, lift the lever. Bear in mind that the water may be hot, so be careful.
  5. Release water briefly: Allow water to flow through the valve for a few seconds, then release the lever to close it.
  6. Check for proper operation: The valve should discharge water, and when released, it should seal shut without any leakage.
  7. Monitor for continuous discharge: If the valve continues to discharge water after closing or doesn't discharge water at all, it may indicate a problem. In such cases, it is suggested to ask help from a professional plumber for further inspection and repairs.

Monitor Your Water Bill for Hidden Leaks

Monitoring water bills for sudden spikes is vital to detect hidden leaks early on. Detecting and addressing leaks promptly saves water, prevents costly repairs, and protects your property. It also promotes environmental sustainability by reducing water waste.
4 practical tips and techniques for detecting and addressing hidden leaks, preventing water waste, and avoiding costly surprises:
  1. Check your water meter: Turn off all water sources in your home, including appliances, and check your water meter. If it continues to run or show usage, you probably have a leak.
  2. Perform a visual inspection: Check your plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, showerheads, and toilets, for any visible leaks or drips. Look for water stains, mold, or damp areas around pipes and fixtures.
  3. Conduct a toilet leak test: Add a few drops of food coloring to it. If you notice the color in the bowl without flushing, it means that you need to repair the leak.
  4. Utilize leak detection tools: Consider using a water leak detection device or smartphone apps that can detect leaks by monitoring water usage patterns in your home.

Clear Vegetation Around Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures

Maintaining clear surroundings for plumbing fixtures is important to prevent damage and ensure their proper functioning. Clearing vegetation reduces the risk of roots infiltrating pipes, minimizes obstructions during maintenance and repairs, and promotes better water flow and drainage.
Here are 5 guidelines and recommendations for clearing vegetation to prevent blockages and ensure proper functionality of plumbing fixtures:
  1. Maintain a clearance zone: Create a clearance zone of at least one foot around all outdoor plumbing fixtures, including faucets, valves, drains, and exposed pipes. This allows for easy access, inspection, and maintenance.
  2. Trim back plants and shrubs: Regularly prune or trim plants, shrubs, and trees that are growing near plumbing fixtures. Focus on removing branches, vines, or foliage that could obstruct or infiltrate the fixtures.
  3. Remove invasive plants: Identify and remove invasive plant species known for aggressive root growth that can infiltrate pipes and cause blockages. Research local invasive plants in your region to stay informed.
  4. Install root barriers: Consider installing physical root barriers made of materials like plastic or metal around vulnerable plumbing fixtures. These barriers help prevent root intrusion and blockages.
  5. Regularly inspect and maintain: Schedule regular inspections of the cleared area surrounding plumbing fixtures. Keep an eye out for new growth, overhanging branches, or any other potential obstructions, and promptly address them.

Home Alliance: The Best Plumbing Repair Near Me

By following this comprehensive summer plumbing maintenance checklist, you'll be equipped to keep your plumbing system in top-notch shape throughout the season. Remember, a little preventive effort goes a long way in ensuring a trouble-free and enjoyable summer.
If you need assistance from a certified plumber, don't hesitate to call Home Alliance for reliable plumbing services. You can also schedule a professional plumbing inspection with us. Book a service today and enjoy a season of peace of mind and uninterrupted relaxation.