Aah, summer! After the long, cold winter months, we're all ready for the warmer, longer days of summer. It's a time of relaxing, entertaining and a bit of travel. Before you set off on your summertime travels, be sure to take care of your plumbing system to avoid returning to a mess. Here's how!
Prepare your plumbing pre-travel
If you're traveling for a few weeks this summer, be sure to prepare your home:
- Check all your water-using appliances (dishwasher, ice machine, washer, pool) for leaks, cracked or lose hoses, and other malfunctions, and have it repaired ahead of the vacations.
- Empty the washing machine and dishwasher and clean all the filters and traps. Leave the appliances open to air while you are away to avoid returning to unpleasant and musty odors.
- Turn the water heater to its vacation setting, or to pilot or low, depending on what's available. You may as well save heat energy while there's no need for hot water.
- Shut off all the indoor and outdoor faucets.
- If you have an automatic schedule for your irrigation system, be sure to check the settings to continue the system runs as it should while you're away.
- If you are going away for more than a week, consider switching off the hot water heater and the main water shut off. If you will be away for more than a month, you may want to drain the tank and pipes.
- Service your sump pump before you go away, and test it. Install a backup battery in case your home loses power while you're away.
- Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to check in on your house to ensure that all is in order. A small leak can cause a big mess after just a few days.
Keep the outdoors out your doors!
Summertime comes with plenty of outdoor adventures, including lazy days on the beach, traipsing through hiking trails, and riding on ATVs. You're bound to get dirty in the process!
Remember that your drains were not made for sand and grass, but for water. Rinse any sand and dirt off by the outside tap or with the hose where it will run back into the garden, rather than into your household drains.
Keep summer foods out of the garbage disposal
Summer fruits and vegetables are great for your body's plumbing, but not so much for that of your body. The garbage disposal works hard all year long, but fibrous cobs and corn husks, artichokes, banana peels, celery strings, pits, and hard seeds can clog up your disposal.
Be sure to provide a rubbish bin or compost bin in the wash up area and ask guests to avoid disposing of bones in the garbage disposal.
Service your sprinkler system
Summer is a busy season for your sprinkler system, so it's a good idea to have it serviced during spring. Naturally, you will want to be careful while you mow, because you can easily damage the sprinkler heads and or the mower blades by mowing over them.
At the same time, you want to be sure that you keep puppies away from any plastic sprinkler bits.