After all those rainy days and chilly nights, just about every Australian looks forward to our awesome summer. Currently in the midst of spring, we’re already getting a delicious taste of some warmer weather – and it’s the perfect time to start planning for some lazy summer weekends at the beach or around the BBQ. But according to many plumbers, it’s also a peak time for plumbing emergencies.
Why’s that? While all the cold winter weather has put a strain on your hot water system, summer place’s different pressures on your plumbing infrastructure – and with a particularly hot summer ahead, higher temperatures and increased household use can cause serious plumbing problems.
Let’s dive into some summer plumbing tips to avoid those emergencies common in warmer weather!
1. Get the washing machine ready
With all those sweaty t-shirts and beach towels on the way, your washer will get a heck of a workout this summer. So spare it a thought and see if it needs a little summer loving.
Those hoses actually only last a few years, so check them for signs of wear. Are the clothes still wet after a spin? It’s a sure sign that your washing machine motor is on the way out. Is it leaking or the water not draining well? Is it noisy or knocking? Are clothes coming out looking like new, or are stains now troublesome to shift?
An honest answer to many of these questions could indicate it’s time to splash out or do some maintenance before you’re stuck with a major washing crisis in the middle of summer.
2. Give your drains a break
A great thing about summer is those get-togethers with family and friends. But summer parties are hectic, plenty of people are coming and going and lots of food and rubbish is being consumed and discarded. Often, the innocent victim is your drain.
The most serious Gold Coast blocked drains in summer are actually more related to your garden. Soaking up the suns rays large trees send out roots in search of water. The best place for them to find water in summer is your plumbing, which can quickly become completely locked by tree roots. Avoid planting large trees and shrubs near pipes, and remove any before they cause problems.
Any time of year you should be careful what you try to flush down it. Fats, oils, food scraps and even dairy and sauces do not belong down there, because over time it can build up and block the pipe. Unbelievably, our plumbers also find that egg shells, food packaging and paper towels are extremely common culprits discovered when unblocking Gold Coast drains, so follow this rule: if in doubt, don’t shove it down the drain!
3. Make some toilet rules
Summer means school is out! That’s great for the kiddies, but your toilet may not be prepared for the extra workload – and you’re almost certainly not prepared for those floods and smells! Aussie plumbers report that summer is high season for toilet-related callouts – not just because more people are using the small room, but often because kids in particular are misusing it.
Often, the problem is as simple as kids using too much paper per use and then not flushing it away – causing a clog later down the line. But plumbers also find toy cars and barbie dolls down there, so let the little ones know that the only solids they should wave goodbye to are ‘Number Twos’, before you discover your toilet won’t flush!
4. Organise an annual check
Finally, Spring is simply the perfect season to get a professional to make sure your plumbing maintenance throughout the year has been spot on. That’s because plumbing problems can not only be a nuisance, they can cost you thousands in damage and even pose a safety risk to you and your family.
Many families go away for summer holidays, and Murphy’s Law dictates that if a pipe is going to go bang in the most devastating way, it will be when no one is around to turn off the mains! So do yourself a favour and, once a year, organise a home plumbing inspection to check those pipes, taps, toilets and hot water systems to make sure they’re in tip-top shape for all that summer fun.
Had a summer plumbing nightmare? Got any other bright ideas that could prevent an awesome summer party being ruined by an emergency plumber call-out? We’d love to hear from you!