5 Plumbing Tips for a Trouble-Free Summer

Summer is here!  And so are your guests. Whether you’re renting out your vacation home on the Outer Banks, or it just feels like you are (wink!), chances are you will be dealing with a steady flow of traffic in and out of your home over the next few months.

Did you know the average person flushes the toilet a minimum of 5 times a day?  Multiply that by a family of 5 and that’s a busy bathroom. In this blog we’ll give you a few tips that will help you maintain your plumbing system and fixtures in your home during the busiest time of year.

Trouble-Free Plumbing Tips

TIP #1: Turn It Down!

No, not the music, the water heater.  Have you ever thought about modifying the temperature of your water heater based on the time of year? In the summer months we seldom look forward to a hot, steamy shower.  Save some greenbacks and be kind to the environment at the same time by saving energy and using less hot water.

TIP #2: Garbage Goes in the Garbage Can

Many people view garbage disposals as a literal ‘dispose-all’.  In the summertime there are a lot of mouths to feed, so there’s no shortage of cooking, grilling, baking and cleanup. A disposal is designed to handle small bits of food leftover from someone’s plate, not necessarily all the vegetable waste and other things we think it can handle. Don’t disrupt your vacation (or someone else’s) with the time spent having to replace your garbage disposal.  Here are a few of the common foods to avoid:

  • Fruit pits
  • Eggshells
  • Oil or grease
  • Coffee grounds
  • Starchy items like pasta, potatoes or rice

For more tips on keeping your disposal working optimally, please visit our previous blog titled, If Your Garbage Disposal Could Talk.

Tip #3: Knock, knock: Housekeeping!

When guests are in your home, it often feels like all you do is laundry!  That means your washing machine is working overtime with sheets and towels in addition to the standard fare.  It’s always a good idea to conduct a seasonal check of your washing machine, hoses and connections to ensure that all hoses are not cracked or loose, no drips at the connections, and that the drum is not clogged with fuzz from new towels and other fibers that may get removed from articles of clothing and other items during the wash cycle.  If you have a lint trap, be sure to clean it frequently (and while we’re on the subject, clean your dryer’s lint filter every couple of loads!).

Tip #4: TLC for the Loo

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, your toilets are probably working overtime when guests are in the home.  You’re best off getting ahead of the little problems before they turn into bigger problems. We’re talking about the toilet that constantly runs, or the leaky valve, or maybe the constant clogs.  Getting ahead of small problems early means you are less likely to have big problems later.  This also includes the do’s and don’ts of what to flush and what not to flush. If you need a refresher, refer to our blog, Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet.

Tip #5: Swipe Right to Get to Know Your Main Shut-Off Valve

We saved the best for last.  Knowing where your shut-off valves are (and your main shut-off valve in particular) is one of the most important things to know in the event of a water leak emergency.  If you own a vacation rental, this is one of the priority items you’ll want to share with your guests to prevent water damage in your home if a problem occurs while your home is being rented.

Turning off your water main when the home is vacant can prevent any problems that may happen when you’re not there. Check all shut-off valves seasonally to ensure proper performance. And yes, we have a blog for that!  Learn more about your shut-off valves here.

There’s a lot to absorb here, but you can simplify your life (especially if you are a non-resident owner) by scheduling an annual maintenance check.  During our annual inspections we check to make sure your plumbing system is in good order and can identify any areas that may need some attention.  It’s never to late!  If you’ve been putting off replacing that leaky bathroom faucet or thought about updating a toilet or two, avoid future problems by getting it done today and enjoy a trouble-free, fun summer!