Summer is a busy time for your home. The kids are out of school, your washing machine is working overtime, and your lawn sprinklers are running nearly every day. This increased activity can put a drain on your home’s plumbing system. And just one small plumbing hiccup can cause much larger problems down the line. In this month’s blog article, Main Stream Mechanical shares seven easy ways to avoid plumbing emergencies (and costly repairs) this summer.
1. Look out for leaks.
Take advantage of the summer weather and check for rust, corrosion, leaks, and broken/bent parts on all water-using elements, both inside and outside your home:
spigots (inside and outside)
sprinkler systems (inspect and clean heads each season)
pool pumps, hoses, etc.
If you need help replacing any broken or corroded parts, contact Main Stream Mechanical.
Did you Know? If you have a water leak (e.g. a dripping faucet or bad toilet flapper), you could save up to 10% annually by correcting it.
Quick and easy ways to identify leaks:
Toilet: Put food coloring in the tank. If it leaks into the bowl without flushing, you may have a leak. Also, grab your toilet with two hands and wiggle it from side to side. If your floor feels soft, soggy, or spongy, the seal between your toilet and the pipe systems have eroded and needs replacement.
Bath tub: Make sure the grout around the edge of your tub is sealed securely to the walls. Even the smallest chip in the grout can allow water to seep behind your walls and under your tub.
Water heater: Look for signs of rust or corrosion on the hardware and underneath your system. While you’re there, wipe off any sediment that has built up. An abundance of sediment suggests you have a hard water problem.
If you think you have a leak or a corroded part that needs replacing, contact Mainstream Mechanical’s certified plumbing professionals.
2. Peek at your pressure.
During the summer, when water usage rises, it’s especially important to maintain good water pressure. While 40-45 pounds of water pressure per square inch (PSI) is the range to aim for, it shouldn’t exceed 60 PSI. To measure your home’s water pressure, attach an inexpensive gauge (available at home improvement stores) to one of your outdoor spigots. If your pressure is too high or too low, contact Main Stream Mechanical to get it adjusted.
3. Search for sweaty pipes.
When cold water is running, it’s normal to see some condensation on pipes, faucet heads, and other fixtures. However, if condensation is always present, cold water might be running somewhere in your system, so it should be evaluated by a plumbing professional.
4. Power up your sump pump.
After ensuring your sump pump has power, pour a bucket of water into it. If it begins to process the water, it’s working as it should. After testing it, you can turn it off and remove the water. If it’s not working, schedule a service appointment with Main Stream Mechanical and we’ll take a look at it.
Note: If any part of your home is below ground level, you should have a sump pump.
5. Don't overdo it with your disposal.
Sink disposals are great, but some foods are better off for composting. Avoid putting the following items in your sink’s garbage disposal:
Stringy vegetables and fruits (e.g. celery, corn husks, and bananas)
Dense, hard vegetables (e.g. carrots, potatoes and beets)
Grease or fat (damages your pipes)
Tip: Run cold water for 15 seconds before placing anything in your sink’s garbage disposal.
6. Watch your washer.
Your washer probably works a little harder in the summer, so make sure it’s in good shape. Check your hoses for bulges and cracks and look around your machine for excess water or mold and mildew--signs there could be a leak. Replace any cracked hoses with stainless steels ones as they last longer.
7. Know where your water valve is.
As a homeowner, it’s important to know where your main water valve is so you can shut off your water in the event of a plumbing emergency. If you’re going away for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to shut off your water to avoid a water mishap. If you don’t know where your main water valve is, give us a call at (978) 834-0849 and we’ll tell you what to look for.
Residential and Commercial Plumbing Services in NH and MA
If you have plumbing concerns, the licensed and insured plumbing professionals at Main Stream Mechanical are here to help. We specialize in kitchen and bathroom plumbing, hot water heater installation and repair, sump pump service and installation, and more! In Haverhill, Amesbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Topsfield, Boxford, and other locations across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, call our expertly trained technicians at (978) 834-0849 or contact us online.