Go Back

How To Avoid Common Summer Plumbing Problems

It’s the start of summer, so it’s time for backyard cookouts, fun in the sun, and warm evenings spent lounging on the porch. With all that summertime bliss, the last thing any homeowner wants is to deal with a clogged drain, leaky pipe, or any other plumbing emergency. And while these issues are pretty common, they’re also easy to avoid with a little know-how and minimal effort. Keep reading to discover three easy ways to prevent some of the most common plumbing disasters that plague homeowners in the summer!

Keep an Eye Out for Leaks

crack The first way to avoid a plumbing catastrophe is to catch leaks as early as possible. A left unchecked leak will only worsen over time and can cause damage to the home, such as wood rot, mold growth, and foundation problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to inspect the home’s plumbing for evidence of leaks routinely.

Some key signs are water spots, warping, or discoloration on walls, ceilings, or floors. This is common when the seals around the toilet, tub, and sink drains become loose, and water begins escaping around the edges of the drain flange. A hidden pipe leak is typically harder to detect, but a few indicators include:

  • Low water pressure
  • Sounds of running water (when no fixtures are in use)
  • Unusually high water bills

Avoid Putting Grease Down the Drain

drain The next trick for preventing a summer plumbing fiasco is to dispose of grease and cook oil in the trash or at a local recycling center rather than dumping it down the kitchen sink. Most types of grease will congeal and solidify when they cool down, forming a clog in the home’s drainage pipe. But even oils that remain liquid at room temperature can stick to and exacerbate any nasty obstructions already in the pipe, such as hair, soap scum, and food waste.

Oil and grease buildup is one of the leading causes of pipe clogs in homes, but fortunately, one can easily avoid it. Instead of putting grease or used cooking oil down the drain, homeowners can pour it into a sealable container (such as the jar or bottle it originally came in) and put it in the garbage can - once it’s cooled, of course! Alternatively, homeowners can contact their local recycling center or fire department to see if they accept used cooking oil.

Regularly Flush Drains

The third way to keep the plumbing system running smoothly is to clean the drains regularly. As noted above, grease isn’t the only thing that can accumulate in drain pipes and cause clogs. Flushing out the drains periodically will help keep things like soap scum and debris at bay, reducing the likelihood of a blocked drain.

To start, it’s a good idea to pour a pot of lightly boiling water down the home’s drains every week or two. This will help melt away grease and dislodge debris. Next, every 2 or 3 months, homeowners can put equal parts (½ cup of each should do it) of baking soda and vinegar in the drains, wait 15 minutes, then pour hot water down the drain to wash it out. This will help break apart obstructions and get rid of nasty bacteria.

When it comes to prevention, these simple and inexpensive methods are much better than harsh chemical drain cleaners, which can damage the home’s plumbing, especially with frequent use. If a more heavy-duty approach is needed, hiring a plumber to perform a thorough drain cleaning is best. 

About All Purpose Plumbing

For years, All Purpose Plumbing has been a trusted pillar of the Tacoma community. Their licensed, insured, drug-tested, and background-checked experts always arrive on time in fully-stocked trucks and provide industry-leading service. All-Purpose offers convenient 2-hour appointment windows, free inspections on every service call, 24-hour emergency service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee - so call them today for leak detection and drain cleaning in Tacoma, WA!