Keep Your Plumbing Running Smoothly with Summer Houseguests
One of the best parts of summer is having friends and family come in for a visit. A house full of guests can be an absolute delight, even with the busy-ness and crowding. With all the memories to be made, it’s easy to forget that with extra guests, plumbing systems work overtime. With that in mind, we’ve got some tips to share that will help you manage the heavier load on your pipes and hopefully avoid potential water damage.
Do Some Prep Work
Leaky faucets or pipes can mean a lot of wasted water over time, a hike in your water bill, or water damage that could have been prevented. Even small leaks can turn into big problems. Burst or leaky pipes, broken supply hoses, toilets, or a leaking water tank or heater are often the culprits. Do a thorough check of all pipes and appliances. If leaks are found, they should be fixed immediately.
Burst hoses that cause water damage are one of the top home insurance claims. Consider getting rid of all flimsy rubber hoses under sinks and behind refrigerators and washing machines. Replace with stainless steel braided hoses that are much sturdier and less prone to breakage.
Check all toilets for signs of cracks or leaking. Also check caulking to ensure seals are in good condition. Be watchful for low water levels. This could be a sign of a crack in the bowl or a clog. Always be on the lookout around the outer edge of the toilet for excess water, a moist spongy floor, or if stains appear around the base.
Keep your current appliances in good shape by doing necessary occasional maintenance. Preventative care on water heaters, garbage disposals, and other appliances will alert you to possible problems that may need to be fixed before they become a larger issue.
Sump pumps are going to prevent flooding in the home, so it is important to keep them properly maintained. Check often to be sure your pump is plugged in. Test your pump every few months and consider having a backup battery powered pump in the case of an electrical outage.
Know How to Locate Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve
In the event of a large leak, rupture, or flooding you need to know how to turn off your homes water supply. Know the location of your valve before an emergency arises to best avoid major flooding or water damage.
Be Smart with Appliances
More people means more washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances working overtime with all the extra cooking and cleaning. Be sure any visitors know how to use your appliances and any special instructions or limitations there may be. Also, try to run appliances during off-peak times to lessen the stress on your pipes and plumbing systems.
During the summer months, pipes are doing overtime with garden hoses and sprinkler systems in heavy use. Pay close attention to water lines and try to limit using water excessively. You can also alleviate too much pressure on pipes by offsetting dishwasher and washing machine times with when you run your sprinklers.
Good Bathroom Routines
More people taking showers and using the restroom can mean greater chances of clogged toilets and drains. Be sure to take care of any blockages immediately to avoid possible overflow, and clean up any messes immediately to prevent possible unsanitary conditions and flooding.
Watch What You Put Down the Sink
With guests, there is often a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Be aware of what is going down the sink. Foods that should not go down the drain include potato peels, cooking grease, and coffee grounds. Also avoid anything with bones, lemon & orange peels, seafood shells, and any other non-food item.
Check Your Water Pressure
Pay attention to your water pressure. If you notice changes in the flow of showerheads, faucets, or spouts you may have buildup in your pipes.
Try to run laundry and dishwashers during off peak periods of the day when people are not showering. This will help avoid extra strain on pipes.
Be sure your water pressure is not set too high. Regulators should be set no higher than 80 p.s.i. High pressure can cause water leaks, breaks, or a possible pipe rupture due to increased stress on a plumbing system.
Water leaks, burst pipes, sewage backups, or flooding are just a few of the water damage situations that often occur with heavy use of plumbing systems. While guests are wonderful, the potential for water damage does increase. Luckily, steps taken to prevent common plumbing issues should keep you and your guests happy throughout the visit.
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