The summer months may bring more people into your household, whether the kids are home more or you have guests over for cookouts and activities. This means that your plumbing system is going to endure greater use, as well. Following is a rundown of three common summer plumbing problems you may encounter and some tips to help prevent them.

Garbage Disposal Problems

Your garbage disposal is a handy appliance that helps pipes steer clear of clogs. The appliance works by using metal impellers (not blades) spinning on a plate to grind waste against a ring. Water is needed to flush the waste particles out of the ring into a wastewater pipe.

Problems occur when the impellers become clogged with waste that shouldn’t be placed into the disposal. The impellers may become entangled which can stop the motor, and your pipes can become clogged with waste requiring the help of a professional plumber. Following is a list of items that aren’t good for your disposal and/or pipes, which you should avoid placing into the appliance:

  • Grease or oil
  • Animal bones
  • Paper, plastic, metal, or glass
  • Fibrous foods (e.g. onion skins, celery, potato peels, lettuce, and corn husks)
  • Hard rinds of fruit (e.g. watermelon rinds)
  • Pasta or bread
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Harsh cleaning products

Additionally, you can help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly by running the water until all particles are flushed out and grinding lemon slices and ice for a fresher smell.

Toilet Problems

Two of the most common toilet problems are a clogged toilet and a running toilet. When you have guests over for summer activities, your toilet is going to see a lot more use. So, keep a plunger handy to help keep your toilet flushing properly. Moreover, following is a list of items to not flush down your toilet to help prevent clogs.

  • Q-tips, cotton balls, and floss
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Wet wipes
  • Diapers
  • Pills
  • Paper towels
  • Cigarette butts

A running toilet may not always obstruct the normal function of your toilet, but it does waste an exorbitant amount of water. Two of the most common reasons for a running toilet are an entangled chain in the flapper or a problem with the flapper.

If the toilet chain is the problem, you will need to either remove some chain links, untangle the chain, or replace the chain altogether.

If the chain is fine, then the problem may be a leaky or unseated flapper. Older flappers collect deposits that may cause the leak. It’s better to replace these with a new assembly. An unseated flapper may be due to a loose flapper fastener. Just clip the flapper back on to the pegs.

Water Heater Failure

Your water heater is an essential appliance that may not get much attention until there’s a problem with receiving hot water. Some warning signs that your hot water heater needs attention are intermittent hot water output, water leaks underneath the water heater or at the Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve (TPRV), and knocking noises from the water heater.

Should you experience any of these warning signs of water heater failure, you should call your plumbing professional right away. You don’t want dozens of gallons of water spilling inside your home or a complete failure of providing hot water. However, it could be that your hot water heater just needs a new part from normal aging and not a complete water heater replacement.

When you need a quality and experienced plumber in the Twin Cities area, contact the professionals at MN Plumbing & Home Services (952) 469-8341