Summertime is upon us in northern California! It’s the time when activities are virtually nonstop. The kids are out of school, having friends over, and using the pool more frequently. Adults are thinking about the family activities and hosting friends on warm evenings. It’s not surprise that as traffic increases in our homes, so do water utility consumption rates.
You’ve invested your time and resources in home improvements, and it’s important to ensure maximum reliability and longevity of your investments. A good place to start is by checking off a few plumbing maintenance items. The last thing you want is a nasty drain clog or sewer backup to disrupt your summer fun. To that end, we have put together a Summer Checklist for Home Plumbing Systems – because once the plumbing goes, so do your guests!
Checklist for home plumbing systems in the Bay Area:
1. Sewer Camera Inspection
Call Pipe Spy and schedule a sewer video inspection. The video inspection will identify any potential problems, and the technician will make a determination if the sewer needs maintenance cleaning or repair service. Sewer video inspection is an affordable and convenient way to catch any problems early – helping you to avoid the headaches and expense of a major repair job..
2. Clear & Clean Your Sewer
Pipe Spy can also clean and clear your sewer with a high-pressure water jetting service. This removes sludge, dirt, and other build up in your sewer – promoting good flow and reducing the likelihood of guests or the kids clogging your drains with toilet paper or other items. Couple this service with a sewer camera inspection to get the most out of both offerings.
3. Clean & Service Sewer Ejector Pump
Homes in the hills sometimes have ejector pump systems attached to their sewers to help pump the sewage up hill and out to the city main sewer. These systems can become clogged over time. They require regular cleaning and servicing to ensure proper function and optimal lifespan. Contact a sewer specialist to have this cleaning service done twice a year.
4. Clean and Freshen Garbage Disposal
Use natural products or enzymes to clean the kitchen sink drains. Baking soda, lemon juice, and boiled hot water will usually do the trick, and they leave behind a fresh aroma. If you know it’s been a while and the sink is prone to clogging, use a stronger natural enzyme cleaner.
5. Check Water Main Valve
Water main valves can get stuck over time and be hard to turn in an emergency. It’s good to give them a turn, closing them, and then opening them again to make sure they can turn in a pinch. If your valve requires a key, make sure you are storing it in a place where you remember where it is and that is easy to get to.
7. Inspect Under Sink Piping & Faucets
Check all of your home’s faucets (both indoors and outdoors) for leaking fixtures, loose knobs, and worn caulking. Look underneath sinks and check drainpipes for loose joint nuts, cracks, or wet cupboard floors from dripping leaks. You’ll want to call a general plumber to fix any problems you encounter.
8. Monitor Your Water Meter Readings
Keep up with your water billing statements and reports of your meter readings. Make sure they’re within normal range and watch for sudden increases in your usage and bill costs. This information could indicate leaks in your home. A skilled leak detection service can help diagnose further should you find any issues.
9. Check Your Toilet Bowls and Tanks
Have a close look at your toilet bowls and tanks. Check them for hairline fractures, running noises, good draining flush, and a stable seat. Small problems with these things could turn into big problems for a guest who doesn’t know all of your home’s little quirks. Consult a plumber who focuses on home interior plumbing systems for the best result.
10. Clean & Service HVAC System
You’ll want to be sure that your guests have a cool place to retreat during those hot summer days. If you have a heating/ventilation/air conditioning system, summer is the best time to have it checked, cleaned, or serviced. HVAC systems can collect quite a bit of dust, and their performance is diminished when vents and ducts are blocked by thick dust and debris. Call your local HVAC plumbers two to three weeks in advance of your festivities to help you get a jump on this task– HVAC technicians get backed up quickly this time of year.
11. Check Your Hot Water Heater
Have a good look at your water heater. Remove access dust and dirt from the body and access points. Check pipes for rust and the underbelly for water leaks. Note the service sticker and have the unit serviced based on the date of purchase. Remember that the typical life of a water heater is about 10 years. It is always a good idea to replace a water tank before it begins to break down. You can also conserve energy by turning the thermostat on your water heater down a few pegs during the summer months. Don’t forget we’re in a pretty serious drought in California and the Bay Area. Water conservation is paramount. The threat of wildfires also looms with extended dry periods. Water is an extremely precious commodity in California.
Being proactive and taking care of these systems can prepare your home’s plumbing for the rest of the year, knocking out some of your core concerns for the cooler seasons and giving you peace of mind. That peace could actually free you up to really enjoy your summer gatherings with confidence! Some of these projects can be DIY, but be sure to call trusted professionals who can perform these tasks safely and effectively for more complex tasks.
To prepare your home’s plumbing systems for summer, give us a call at (510) 465-3000.