On a hot summer day, the last thing you want is for your Atlanta, GA, home’s plumbing system to malfunction. Unfortunately, some plumbing problems are more common during the summertime than at other times of the year. At Bardi Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing, our skilled plumbers have identified these nine common plumbing problems that could affect your home during the summer months.
1. Basement Flood
Atlanta frequently experiences afternoon thunderstorms. Some of these thunderstorms move slowly over the area, causing a lot of rain to fall in the same place. If there’s more rain than the storm drains and your sump pump can handle, you could end up with a flooded basement. A flooded basement is also possible if you leave the garden hose running or if you have a backyard pool malfunction. Once a month, test your sump pump. Consider installing a battery backup in case of a power outage.
2. Clogged Garbage Disposal
Fresh corn on the cob, peaches, and other fruits and vegetables are highlights of the summer. These things taste great, but they’re not so good for your garbage disposal. Misuse of the disposal could cause foul odors or a backup in your kitchen’s drain. Tell guests not to use the disposal. Any dairy, starch, or meat waste should go into the garbage, not down the drain. If possible, forego using the disposal unless necessary. Compost fruit and vegetable waste, or put it into the kitchen trash bin.
3. Slow Bathtub or Shower Drain
On a sweltering day in “Hotlanta,” your home’s shower or bathtub will get a lot of use. Extra hair care products, soap, body wash, and shed hair and skin cells accumulate over time. They build up in the bathtub or shower drain, causing it to empty too slowly. If the buildup gets thick enough, the water may exert so much pressure that the pipe bursts. Teach kids to use just a small dollop of shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. Ask people with long hair to brush before showering. This reduces the amount of shed hair. Consider placing a sink strainer to catch hair in the drain’s opening before it can float into the drain pipe.
4. Flood From Lawn Irrigation System
A malfunction of your lawn irrigation system could cause a flood of your yard. Some of that water could seep toward your home’s foundation. If it penetrates the foundation, you could find yourself facing severe water damage. Irrigation system problems are common after downpours. A slow-moving thunderstorm that dumps a couple of inches of rain could saturate the soil. If the irrigation system automatically turns on around the same time, the extra water won’t be able to soak into the soil. Forgetting to turn the irrigation system off when leaving for the day or going on vacation is another possible problem.
5. Washing Machine Malfunction
Frequent showers from getting sweaty outdoors and extra laundry from swimming may overwork your washing machine. If there are any leftover pebbles, sand, dirt, or debris, they may clog the washing machine’s hose. Items left in pockets could also cause a problem for the washing machine. It’s also possible to accidentally wash a swim diaper or another item that falls apart and creates a big mess in the washing machine. Before putting laundry into the machine, thoroughly shake it outdoors. This will loosen any sand or pebbles so that they don’t get in your washing machine. Check all pockets on clothing, including those on swim trunks.
6. Toilet Clogs
If your household includes kids, having them home all day throughout the summer means more use of the toilet. They may use too much toilet paper or drop an object into the toilet, causing a backup. If you host barbecues or gatherings at your home in the summer, heavy use of the bathroom by your guests could also result in a toilet clog. Most toilet backups are caused by flushing something that shouldn’t be flushed. Place a wastebasket next to the toilet. Encourage kids and guests to avoid flushing menstrual care products, baby wipes, and other items. Only human waste and a small amount of toilet paper should go down with each flush.
7. Tree Roots in Sewer Line
Summertime is prime time for tree growth. Tree roots grow in the direction of moisture. Your home’s sewer line is a prime source of moisture. If there’s even a tiny offset or crack in the sewer line, the tree roots will grow toward it. Once a few root cells are able to get into the sewer pipe, they will grow rapidly. The roots benefit from the nutrient-dense wastewater that flows through the pipe as well as the constant source of moisture. By mid- to late summer, you may notice that all of your home’s drains are slow. After using a lot of water, such as running consecutive loads of laundry, the sewer may back up into your basement, the laundry tub, or a bathtub. We recommend an annual preventive clean-out of your sewer line. Jetting or snaking the pipe gets rid of the tree roots and any other obstructions. Doing this once per year prevents worse damage to your sewer and lowers the risk of a sewage backup into your home.
8. Water Heater Leak
During the long, hot, and humid summers in Atlanta, everyone in your home will shower at least once a day. Kids who go outside may get dirty and sweaty, needing an extra bath or shower. If you go to the pool or a beach and don’t shower there, you’ll need to come home and shower. All of this extra showering and the associated extra laundry put a lot of pressure on your water heater. A typical water heater lasts for about 10 years. Around the 10-year mark, water heater tanks often start to leak. The leaking is from corrosion and rust in the metal tank. Fittings and valves can also wear out and cause a leak. You may want to be proactive in having the water heater inspected once per year or replace it if it’s old, inefficient, lacks enough capacity, or starts to leak.
9. Lawn Mower Damage to Sprinkler System
Summertime thunderstorms may make your lawn grow one inch taller in a day or two. If you’re in a hurry when you mow the lawn, or you have a new lawn care provider, it’s possible that your sprinkler system could be damaged by the lawnmower. A damaged sprinkler head may cause water to leak out and pool nearby. The damaged sprinkler head may not turn off, which could result in over-watering of your lawn and a high water bill. If you suspect lawnmower damage to your sprinkler system, turn its water supply off until repairs can be made.
No matter how big or small of a plumbing problem you have, our Atlanta plumbers at Bardi Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing are ready to help. In addition to plumbing, we also offer heating and cooling maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation services. Our family-owned business is proud to be A+ rated with the BBB. To schedule an appointment, call us today.