The sun is out in Western Washington and everyone is out soaking it up! Splashing down in pools, lakes, rivers, and even the Sound. With the weather so hot and dry, it’s easy to forget about your home’s plumbing. Basement floods and frozen pipes seem like a distant memory. Summer can bring its own issues however, and even if your plumbing is flawless, it takes work to keep it that way! Put in the work now and call South West Plumbing to schedule a checkup, so you won’t be left wet and cold this winter.
Let guests know how to treat your pipes
Summer is the time for family visits, parties, cookouts, and maximum hosting. Your home’s pipes can bear the brunt of that burden. Every home is different, so it’s important to be explicit with guests about what your pipes can and can’t handle. Feel free to put up helpful notes like, “This toilet only flushes TP!” or “No Bones or Grease Down the Disposal”. Also, make sure to have bathroom trashcans in obvious places so people don’t try to flush anything precarious. In the kitchen, make sure to have compost, trash, and recycling easily accessible as well.
Save water by switching out old appliances
Washington summers always tend to be on the dry side and this one is no exception. As such, it’s important to conserve water however we can. Not only will that leave more water for fishing, kayaking and swimming, but it will save you money on your water bill as well. One easy way to reduce water usage is to swap out old appliances. Old, inefficient showerheads, faucets, toilets, even dishwashers and washing machines can waste an astonishing amount of water. Switching them out with newer, more efficient models can save water and money.
Maintain your washing machine and dryer
All the swimming, boating, and running around outside this summer can pretty much guarantee one thing: your hamper is piling up fast. To keep up with it, your laundry loads have probably been larger, and more frequent than in winter months. Thus, proper maintenance of both your washer and dryer is always smart in the summer. Start with your washer’s hoses and valves. Washing machine hoses are a huge source of leaks in summer months, so making sure there are no kinks or loose valves can help avoid a bigger costlier problem before it happens. Also, be sure to check and clean your lint trap regularly, as dryer fires also increase in the summer time and lint blockages are a major cause.
Take care of your hot water heater
In the cold, wet winter, your hot water heater likely works overtime. Now that it’s warm and dry however, your hot water heater is likely breathing a sigh of relief. Since it’s not in such high-demand, now is a great time to clean and maintain this costly and important appliance. First, turn that puppy down. Showers don’t need to be as hot, nor does the laundry for most loads, so turn the temperature down a bit and save yourself some money on your power bill. If you’re going on vacation, turn it way down, otherwise you’re paying to heat water no one is going to be using. In addition to turning down the temp, the summer is a great time to clean and test your water heater as well. You can do this by draining it, cleaning it, and checking out the internal elements to make sure they’re in good shape. Or, you can just call South West Plumbing - they work on hot water heaters, too.
Plant and water your garden strategically
With all the rain we get in the winter, it’s easy to get carried away when planting and overburdening your water supply. It might be too late to re-plan your garden, but you can get the most out of your watering. Make sure to water early in the morning, or later in the evening. Not only will you avoid burning your plants with water during the hot part of the day, but you’ll avoid wasting water that will get quickly evaporated by the hot sun as well. When you are planting, try and plant drought resistant crops for ground cover instead of grass.
If you put in the time now, you’ll thank yourself later. The summer is busy, but don’t let it keep you from being proactive about your plumbing!
This article was provided to KING 5 by South West Plumbing