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Summertime Plumbing Tips from Bullseye Plumbing!

Summertime Plumbing

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Summer is here! Children are home from school, your home may be host to endless gatherings of friends as you have barbeques, pool parties, graduation parties, family reunions and other warm-weather fun. All of this increased traffic in your home means more water is running, with pools to fill, flowers to water, and sprinklers running outside, plus inside, where there are more hands and dishes to wash and quadruple the toilet flushes!  Too often we don’t worry enough about our home’s utilities and the capacity it can handle… until a pipe or pump breaks from excess use and we are left with a complex plumbing problem to solve!

At Bullseye Plumbing we can help you be proactive and address any potential plumbing issues this summer so that you won’t have to be reactive and spend time and money cleaning up a mess. Bullseye Plumbing, serving Redwood City and the greater San Francisco area, can restore your property’s plumbing in no time! So if you want to enjoy the most pleasant time of the year – and skip the unpleasant plumbing problems, read below to find out how to prepare your home and its utilities for the extra summer traffic!

Typical Plumbing Issues

While most people think the air conditioning is the only system in the home that works hard during the summer months – they forget that their home’s plumbing doesn’t get a break all year round! Some of the usual and unusual, easy and complex plumbing issues that Bullseye Plumbing has solved over the summer months include:

  • Clogged toilet
  • Clogged garbage disposal or drain
  • Running toilet
  • Loose toilet fixture
  • Leaky toilet
  • Leaky faucets
  • Leaky outdoor spigots
  • Low/declined water pressure
  • Incorrect grade of drain pipes
  • Noisy noise
  • Incorrectly sealed pipes
  • Water heater leaks or failure
  • Burst or cracked pipes
  • Obstructed pipes

Preventative Plumbing is Key!

There are many preventative plumbing measures you can proactively take care of this summer to prepare your home for greater water and fixture usage this summer. This way you can spend your time enjoying the summer instead of dealing with leaks and clogs and other issues. Addressing any concerns early will help you prepare for the months ahead and save you time, money and avoid any headaches!

Consider these important summer plumbing tips!

Inspect for Leaks: Summertime is the best time to check for leaks since the winter has ended and winter usually causes plumbing problems. You don’t want to start another winter with the same problems as last winter! It is a good idea to inspect – both inside and outside- all the places where a leak could be. This means indoors you should check kitchen and bathroom faucets, pipes under the sink, bathtub spigot, shower head, any water hookups such as hot water heater in the basement as well. You can also check for leaks by watching the water meter numbers. Don’t run any water systems and see if the number changes after a short amount of time.

Check the Toilet: To check to see if water is leaking from the tank to the bowl without you flushing, a good tip is to add some food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, you will know! The tank floater and valve should also be checked too as they wear over time. Check that the seal is correct and listen for running noises.  To check to see if the toilet fixture is sound, try to wiggle it to see if it moves. If it does, you may have a leak underneath, or have to reseal the wax. Needing a new, tighter seal is not uncommon.

Additionally, the stoppers that stop the toilet seat from slamming into the china bowl need to be replaced! Bet you never thought of that! Purchase a few new stoppers/cushions so you don’t have to deal with a broken bowl!

Invest in a Plunger: Keep a toilet plunger next to the toilet. You don’t want to need a plunger and not have one! Learn how to properly use one! You need enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger to have it effectively work – you can always add water if necessary!

Check the Bathtub: Similar to the toilet, make sure the tub has a good seal around the edges and make sure it is secured to any wall tile.  Grout should not be chipped and the wall tiles near the tub should not move. If anything feels spongy you may have an unseen water leak.

Check the Water Heater: Check the water heater for signs of repair need. If there is any leakage, rust or corrosion you may have an issue. Check the bottom for moisture with your hand. A typical water heater will last anywhere from 10-15 years but may have issues early for any variety of reasons. If you find you need a replacement, consider a tank a size larger or an on-demand heat system.

Lower your Heat Temp: Because it is summer, you may be taking a shower to cool down, or at least a not-so-hot shower. If this is the case, lower your temperature of your hot water heater a few degrees and save some money!

Check your Yard for Leaks/Wet Spots: Outdoors you should check outdoor spigots where you may have a garden house, sprinklers, pool, water lines.    If your yard seems wet, Bullseye Plumbing can run one of our state-of-the-art video cameras through any water or sewer pipe to see if there is a pipe problem we can solve without digging up your entire yard; this is called trenchless sewer repair.

Check Water Pressure: In the summer, multiple water systems may be running at one time. If you suspect it is not because a local water utility is doing work in the area that your water pressure is low, you may need to have a plumber come out to take a look.

Replace Sprinkler Systems: Check that your sprinkler systems are working, not rusty or damaged. You can replace sprinkler heads.  Sprinklers oftentimes spring leaks underground which causes dead grass from too much or too little water, or can drive up your water bill. Check that the water is also spraying outwardly and not toward your house.

Know the Main Water Valve: If you have an emergency with any water-using appliances or areas of the home, you will want to be able to shut down your whole system. The key to this is the main valve. Find out where your home’s main valve is and learn how to turn it off!

Avoid Clogs: Avoid clogs by flushing only flushable items. Purchase a toilet lid lock if you have children that are prone to flushing toys! Clear hair daily from shower drains.

Snake your drain occasionally to handle normal clogs. If you suspect tree roots are a cause of the clog, contact Bullseye Plumbing.

Clear the Kitchen Drain: Your kitchen garbage disposal is not a trash can; avoid putting things down your disposal that are hard, any fruit rinds or meat or produce. Grease and oil are also not good – use a paper towel to absorb and throw it away. Try composting the food you would otherwise throw away. Invest in a sink strainer to catch food before it goes down the drain.

Remove Residue: Remove any buildup or deposits on your shower head, bathroom and kitchen spigots and even kitchen spray nozzles. You can do this by using hot soapy water or decalcifying solution.

Don’t Ignore Odors: Have a funky odor? This is not normal. Odors indicate an issue, likely a leak or crack in piping of a septic or sewer system.

Standing Water Indicates a Problem: Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria. If this is in a basement it could mean a major issue. Standing water in the yard is a breeding ground for bacteria and mosquitos, which carry their own diseases. Check your yard for soggy spots. You may have a leak in the water or septic lines.

Watch the Washer: In the summer, we get wet and dirty and change clothes often, resulting in more laundry. Check that your washer is connected well, that there are no bulges or cracks, mold or mildew.  Remove any buildup or deposits on washing machine fixtures to keep the water running freely through them.

Clean the Gutters: Your gutters play an important role in keeping water away from your home, as gutters re-route water from the foundation. Clean your gutters free of any leave or twigs that may have fallen.

Invest in a Sump Pump: A sump pump costs about $300-500 but can save you thousands of dollars should you have to clean up a flooded basement. If you suspect you have a home in a flood-prone area, this particularly applies to you!

Stay by Code: Summer is peak home-buying season. The code and standards are to protect public health and safety, so when buyers are thinking of buying a home they should see if a permit was pulled for any major work.

Conserve Water, Save Money: A bonus of stopping leaks or drips besides saving yourself a headache and money is repairs that you will be saving the planet as you conserve!

Other ways to conserve water this summer:

  • When you brush your teeth, keep the water off except when you rinse.
  • Choose Energy Star efficient appliances.
  • Use a car wash, where water is recycled.
  • Don’t water the lawn on windy or rainy days.
  • Soak dishes to remove stuck-on foods.

The End-of-Summer Wrap-up!

If you are closing up shop at your summer home at the shore or upstate cabin, you will want to shut the property down properly. You can reduce your chances of any plumbing issues at your summer home by turning off the water at the main valve! You can also drain all the water from any drains, toilets, sinks or any other place standing water will be. Leave the toilet seat open so that you do not get mildew inside! Open the spigots both indoor and outdoor until water stops running so you are sure it is off. Remove the garden hose from the spigot, as well. To do other winterization, you can apply mineral oil or antifreeze to any of the drains. You can drain the hot water heater tank so it will not leak or burst while you aren’t there.

Summer Plumbing Repairs from Bullseye Plumbing

Whether you are preparing for the full swing of summer or winding down, Bullseye Plumbing is there to meet any plumbing need. Emergency calls – check! Summer inspections – check! Video inspection of sewer lines – check! If you need us, we can solve any problem large or small. Bullseye Plumbing offers the following services in Redwood City and the surrounding San Francisco area:

You can trust Bullseye Plumbing to provide you with fast and efficient plumbing services this summer. Our sewer technicians & staff are here for all your plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs in the Redwood City and San Mateo, California and greater San Francisco area. Call and speak with Service Professionals today for a FREE no-obligation quote at (650) 515-6607. Send us an email or book online and we will call you within 24 hours to schedule.