Summer is a busy time for home maintenance and taking out the garden furniture. Most of us spend considerable time and money on freshening up our exteriors, indulging our green thumbs and getting the garden ready for al fresco fun with friends and family. However, most people forget about their plumbing when compiling those summer maintenance checklists.
If you’re neglecting plumbing maintenance, you’re asking for trouble. A leaking pipe or worn-out washer might not seem like a problem now, but it can lead to costly repairs and outages at the worst possible time. Thankfully, homeowners can offset all of this by taking the time to put together a summer plumbing checklist.
What Is On The Checklist?
Check Your Outdoor Plumbing
The colder months can wreak havoc on your outdoor plumbing. Now that the weather has taken a turn for the better, set aside some time to check those outdoor taps, garden sprinklers and hoses. Inspect taps for any telltale signs of leaks. Rust and superficial damage can also be an indicator that those fixtures need replacing.
You’ll also want to tighten up any loose hose connections. If connectors need replacing, do this now rather than wait to get caught short during a dry spell. Finally, check your outdoor water pressure. If you’re only getting a trickle out of those outdoor taps, you might be dealing with a more significant plumbing issue.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters and downpipes are essential for keeping redirecting rainwater away from your property. However, it’s easy for them to become clogged with things like moss and fallen leaves. If you haven’t touched your guttering over the autumn and winter months, you could find yourself dealing with a sizable blockage.
Overflowing gutters are no laughing matter. This overflow can saturate the foundation of your property, leading to dampness and mould. In worst-case scenarios, it can even damage the structural integrity of your property. Decaying debris can also be a haven for pests. To avoid all these issues, make sure you’re cleaning your guttering and downpipes throughout the summer months.
Give Your Drains a Clean
It’s a good idea to keep your drains clean throughout the year. However, it’s even more important if your plumbing system is being put through its paces during the warmer weather. Even a minor clog can lead to a serious blockage, leading to backed-up main sewer drains. Make sure you’re keeping all those sinkholes and internal drains free of any blockages.
Minor clogs are relatively easy to deal with. A homemade concoction of vinegar and baking soda should be enough to flush away everyday debris. Dealing with a more persistent clog? It’s time to call in the experts.
Checking Your Water Pressure
Most households experience an upswing in water usage during the summer, largely down to extra showers and increased gardening work. If your plumbing system is already suffering from an unseen problem, this demand can make the issue worse. Checking your water pressure is an essential part of any summer plumbing checklist.
Use a water pressure gauge to check how well your system is performing. Low pressure is a clear sign of a clog that needs to be addressed. However, unusually high-pressure levels can put a strain on your system and lead to leaks. Once the issue has been resolved, it’s worth testing the water pressure regularly.
Check Washing Machine Hoses
Most of us go through more clothes than usual during the summer. All those heavy spins and extra loads can put a real strain on your washing machine. Keep an eye on the condition of your washing machine hose to ensure everything’s working as it should. Obvious signs of wear and tear include superficial cracks and bulges along the length of the hose. You should never delay replacing a defective hose. If a hose springs a leak during a cycle, you could end up dealing with a major leak and costly clean-up operation.
Inspect Your Boiler
You can check certain things like boiler pressure yourself, but only a qualified plumber will be able to tell you how well your system is performing. A poorly performing boiler can trigger all manner of plumbing problems. How often should you service your boiler?
For most systems, it’s worth investing in a gas boiler service once every 12 months. If your boiler is older than 15 years, it might be worth the cost of maintaining and repairing it. For increased efficiency and long-term savings, gas boiler replacement is a sensible option. The warmer months are the perfect time for this.
Inspecting your gas boiler at least once a year is extremely important, according to My Green Montgomery. There are so many reasons behind this, including costs, safety, and efficiency. If a boiler isn’t ever serviced and eventually breaks down, then the cost of a replacement is far higher than a yearly checkup.
Besides cost, the efficiency of the boiler could be reduced if not checked. A boiler that is running well, should be at a 92–95% efficiency level. When it’s not, then the cost of running gas will be more expensive. And most importantly, a boiler that is checked up on yearly is a safe one, which is important for your home and family.
Check Issues with Your Toilet
If you’re keen to curb excess water charges, you’ll need to check your toilet for any issues. A running toilet might seem fairly harmless, but it can waste hundreds of litres of water in a very short period. Sometimes, readjusting the level of your float valve should be enough to rectify the problem. Other times, you might be looking at a worn-out diaphragm washer.
These small components can be replaced relatively affordably. However, it might be worth reinvesting in an entirely new flush system if you want to make your toilet more water-efficient. Rather than attempt the replacement yourself, it’s best to call in the services of one of our plumbers in Mallow or Cork.
Get A Pro To Check For Issues
While it’s simple enough to identify common plumbing problems, only a professional can pinpoint more elusive issues. A qualified plumber will be able to spotlight any issues with your pipework or water-dependent appliances, saving you the hassle of having to contend with an expensive leak or water outage down the line.
They can advise you on how to get your system ready for the winter months. You might think you know how to flush radiators, but it’s unlikely you’ve been able to clear away all the sludge and rust that’s built up over the years. Power flushing will blast away all that debris, ensuring your central heating system is primed and ready for when the temperatures drop.
Need Help with Summer Plumbing Maintenance?
Stumbled upon a few issues with your plumbing during your inspection? It’s time to call in the professionals. Looking for a plumber in Cork? Complete Plumbing Solutions are on hand to help. Whether you’re struggling with low water pressure, need to schedule a gas boiler service or want to talk about pump services, our team is ready to go when you need us.
Have a question about our services or need help dealing with a plumbing emergency? Give us a call at (085) 169 4244 or get a free online quote today.