Summer Plumber - On the House

Summer Plumber

By on August 2, 2020
Summer Plumber

Summer Lovin’– I mean Plumbing- Happens so Fast!! Tips to help you avoid calling a plumber this summer!

 Summer Plumbing Woes 

Most often you may engage in a family get together during summer. When you come to think of it, you would consume much more water. Be it for sanitary use, washing clothes, cleaning dishes or just staying cool and comfortable. Whether you are splashing about in the pool or watering your garden, you are bound to use more water during the summer months. 

Thinking about plumbing problems, you usually associate it to winter time where pipes freeze due to drop in temperatures. Similarly, there are many plumbing issues which will crop up during scathing summers. 

Imagine coming home after a vacation and you find yourself on soaked floors due to a plumbing disaster. Getting a plumber will cost you a lot of money. Fixing something yourself will turn out to be so much better. With the right kind of tools and a little bit of reading, you can solve all plumbing related issues, thus cutting down on the cost! 

Here are some summer plumbing problems that are most likely to happen. All you need to do is to make sure your plumbing system can survive summer: 

 

  1. Sewer Line Backups

Sewers can end up breaking when an afternoon thunderstorm kicks-in saturating the ground with rain. Servicing your sewers before summer will help you avoid the worst of problems. The solution for such a problem is by installing a drain plug in each drain that will prevent the water from backing up during storms. 

 

  1. Sprinkler Problem

Sprinkler-heads that come for automatic sprinklers tend to break over time. Before summer begins, it is advised to fix your broken sprinkler head by removing the old ones and also take them to the hardware store and find a replacement. 

Broken sprinkler heads can waste water and cause the grass to die. Before the summer starts, check your sprinkler head and if broken, replace it with a new one. As summer sets in, regular maintenance is key to keeping sprinkler systems working properly. Make sure that your sprinkler  heads are clear of debris before you use them. 

  1. Garbage Disposal Obstructions

With more people at home on a hot summer day, the garbage disposal would be used much more. This is due to the types of food consumed and probably because you would invite more friends over. 

Some of the most popular summer foods such as watermelon, barbecue and corn on the cob can cause serious damages if put down the disposal. Cooking oil can also create technical problems. With barbecues being cooked for guests in your home, your garbage disposal will come into a lot of use. Avoid flushing coffee grounds down the unit, grease and oil as well. 

If your garbage disposal begins to develop a clog, use vinegar to clean it and flush it. Do not forget to add hot water. To avoid problems like this, all you can do is take simple steps by educating your children of what they can and cannot throw down the disposal. 

  1. Clogged Toilets

You’ll never know when your toilet would overflow when there are way too many people that stop by. However, you should teach your kids some toilet etiquettes and not to waste water unnecessarily in order to ensure your toilets remain unclogged. 

Simple things like putting up signs around your kids toilet reminding them what can be flushed and not down the pipes. Incase you are stuck in a problem like this, you can keep a plunger on hand to clear the clog. 

 

5 important plumbing tips for the summer 

The temperatures during summer often involves increase in usage of water, both indoor as well as outdoors. We are always looking for ways to save money and these tips will help you save your home from a water leak or a clogged drain during the summer. Here are five important tips that should be followed: 

1. Inspecting Leaks 

After a long winter, summer is considered the best time to check for plumbing problems such as leaks and air blocks. Faucets, pipes under the sink, bathtub spigots, drinking water line, hot water heater, sprinklers etc. need to be checked before they turn your summer life into a nightmare. 

  • Search for leaks in your bathtub: Firstly check if the grout is all around the edge and securely sealed to the wall tile. Any little chip or missing portion of the grout allows water to leak underneath the tub or into the wall. In order to check such a problem, press the wall where they meet the bathtub and make sure nothing moves and the wall does not feel soft. Incase you detect loose tiles or a spongy wall, it can be understood that there is an clog of unseen water leak. 
  • Check for leaks in your water heater: Do you see signs of a water heater leakage? Look at the hardware for any corrosion. You can use a flashlight to inspect the water heater underneath and around the bottom, or you can put your hand all around and under the base to see if you feel water. A typical tank-based water heater lasts for about 10-15 years depending on its maintenance and the kind of water that it uses. 

2. Use The Main Water Valve 

The basic thing when any plumbing disaster takes place is to figure out the main water valve. It is always good to know where the water main for your house is located. The main valve typically looks like a wheels with spokes in it. You can turn it on or off for various reasons. 

Plumbing run through the walls and under the house, and may cost you heavy if a pipe leaks or bursts through the walls and under the house. In case the main valve is opened, the water will continue to leak. In such times the main water valve plays an important role. 

Another major reason why some people want or need a main water valve is to protect against water theft. A water main valve can also be used to cut off the supply of water to most of your water-using appliances. 

  1. Avoid Clogs

Different seasons bring different plumbing challenges in your home, may it be freezing or sultry. If your toilets flush slowly or has grey water when flushed during or after a heavy summer rain, it is a initial sign that you need to call your plumber for an inspection. 

If you’re a parent, you may feel happy if your child gets past the diper stage and takes it to the potty. It is suggested that training must continue for small kids so that they know how much tissue paper needs to be used and what and what not needs to be flushed down the commode. 

For kitchen sinks, there are U-shaped pipes that are connected beneath the sink. Most often these pipe get clogged with debris. In order to remove debris, you can pour hot water in the sink and it will help clear accumulated dirt. 

  1. Check Sewer Line

Sewage problems can be plenty during harsh summers. Residential sewer lines are backed up with rainwater during springtime. Sometimes the water sweeps into the sewer pipes through small cracks and breaches. The solution to this problem is to have an annual inspection by a plumber to check out your sewer pipe lines. 

  1. Stress On Washing Machine 

Finally, the most common plumbing problem seen during summer has to do with your washing machine. Since it’s summer, you would have to wash extra clothes. This would add a lot of stress to your washing machine and this may tend to stop functioning. This will turn out to be a nightmare and a costly expense for you and your family. But this can be avoided with timely and proper maintenance. 

Know these maintenance tips that will help increase your washing machine’s life: 

  • Do not overload your machine 
  • Clean the inside of your washer monthly 
  • Clean out the detergent and fabric softener containers 

 

Don’t Throw Away Those Silica Gel Packs!  

What Are Silica Gel Packets? 

Silica gel is quite useful because it is a desiccant, which means it capable of absorbing and holding moisture. Silica gel packets are an efficient and cost-effective way for companies to protect their products from excess moisture or spoilage. 

You can find these packets included with all sorts of things that need to be kept dry or unspoiled, including electronics, vitamins, leather goods, dried meat products, and more! And when you do come across one, make sure to hold onto it, because you’re about to learn some brilliant things you can do with them!  

You already know you’re not supposed to eat them, but have you ever wondered if there’s anything you can do with those little silica gel packets? After all, you have probably gotten dozens, if not hundreds, of them inside a variety of different products. There are actually plenty of ways to put silica gel packets to good use! 

 

  1. Save Your Phone

Dropped your phone in water? Use silica packets to save it! Just place the phone in a plastic baggie along with a few packets, and let it sit for 24-48 hours. It’s more effective and less dusty than rice! 

  1. Prevent Rust

Toss a couple of silica gel packets into your tool box. The gel will absorb excess moisture and help keep your tools rust-free. 

  1. Put them in your gun safe and with ammo to prevent rusting

Add a few to your gun safe! They will absorb any moisture that seeps in, preventing rust!

  1. Freshen Your Gym Bag

Throw a few gel packs into the bottom of your gym bag. They’ll help absorb the moisture (and the smell) from your workout clothes and shoes, which will help keep your bag fresh. 

5. Preserve Treasured Memories  

Put a silica gel packet into any box or container where you keep photos, important documents, or any sort of memorabilia. The packets will help keep them dry so you can enjoy them for years to come! 

6. Protect Your Electronics 

Keep a silica gel packet wherever you store any electronics with a lens or a screen. These items are particularly sensitive to moisture and condensation, so storing a gel pack with them can be a cheap insurance policy against moisture damage. 

8. Keep Pet Food Fresh 

It can be really hard to keep things dry in humid areas, and pet food is no exception. Your best bet for keeping dry food dry is to transfer it to anairtight containerwith a few silica get packets. Toss them right in with the food, or tape the packets to the underside of the lid. 

7. Prevent Silver Tarnish 

Put a couple of gel packets inside your jewelry box and alongside your nice silverware. Keeping silver items dry will help prevent tarnish (or at least slow it down.) 

9. Keep Books Dry 

Keep your book collection dry and less musty smelling by storing them with silica packets. You can distribute a few around your bookcase, or even store a packet within the pages of your most treasured old book. 

10. Add silica gel packets to each container in your basement, garage, or storage unit to absorb excess moisture.

11. Defog Your Windshield

Stash a few silica gel packets right on the dashboard of your car. They will help absorb some of the excess moisture that caused fog to form on the inside of your windshield. 

To refresh the silica gel packets lay them out in the hot sun on a dry day to recharge them 

 

Whole House Fans? Yes or No?

You know you want to make your air conditioning system more energy-efficient, but the cost of removing and installing an entirely new system can often be prohibitively expensive. If this is the case, you should be looking at auxiliary installations that can work in conjunction with your current system, improving performance without the expense of a total remove and replace project. Whole house fans are one of the best supplemental systems available. 

How Whole House Fans Work 

A whole house fan works by quickly pulling in large amounts of fresh cool air from outside and circulating it through the house. Meanwhile, the hot air gets pushed out the attic in minutes. If the temperature outside drops from 85-degrees to 75-degrees in two hours, for example, the air in the house will take about four hours to drop that much. 

Whole house fans can do the job in less than half that time. Since it pushes air out the attic, it also cools the attic and reduces heat gain in the house. So by turning on your fan in the cool morning hours, you can bring in comfortable air, then close up the house and avoid the searing heat of summer. Turning it on again in the evening ensures all day comfort on all but the very hottest days. 

Advantages of Whole House Fans 

In milder climates, whole house fans can eliminate the need for central air conditioning altogether. This can allow you to focus on installing an efficient heating system for your home, such as radiant flooring. Even if you need something more than whole house fans during the summer, the fans will greatly reduce the stress and need for high performance from your current air conditioning system. 

The operating cost of a whole house fan is about one-tenth that of air conditioning and should enable you to cut your electricity usage by 80 percent. The fans typically draw 400 to 600 watts of electricity, operating for eight cents or less per hour. Therefore, under the right circumstances a whole house fan can ventilate an entire house on the electricity an air conditioner would use to cool one room. 

Whole House Fan Installation 

A whole house fan can be wired into an existing electrical circuit and most fans are designed to go in easily, requiring no cutting of trusses. Direct-drive whole house fans are available at home centers for do-it-yourself installation, but these are noisier and less efficient than belt-driven models, making them inappropriate for medium and larger homes. You’ll also need to determine what size fan is appropriate for your home. Fans between 24 and 36 inches in diameter are usually the standard and whether you need a bigger or smaller fan depends on the size of your home. 

Fun Facts About Architecture 

The history of humans building shelters goes back over 10,000 years. Over this time, the human need to build was distilled into the profession of architecture, and in the process it attracted all manner of eccentric, visionary, and stubborn individuals. In light of both architecture’s long history and its abundance of colorful characters, it’s no surprise that it’s full of surprising and unlikely stories 

Architecture Was Once an Olympic Sport 

During the first four decades of the modern Olympic Games, 151 medals were awarded for music, painting, sculpture, literature, and architecture. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who revived the modern games and founded the International Olympic Committee, considered art an essential part of the competition. The one caveat: every submission had to be sports-related. 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Son Invented Lincoln Logs 

Not all iconic Lloyd Wright designs can be attributed to Frank.Lincoln Logs were the brainchild of John Lloyd Wright, son of the legendary architect. An architect in his own right, John was inspired by the interlocking beams of the foundation below Lloyd Wright Senior’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. 

LEGO Used to Make Special Bricks for Architects 

When Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of the LEGO founder, tried to make a Lego model of the house he was building, it didn’t come out to scale, because Lego bricks have a 5:6 width-to-height ratio. This led to the creation ofModulex, a much smaller brick that was based on perfect cubes, in 1963. Unfortunately, the bricks were discontinued in the 1970s. 

The Empire State Building Generates More Revenue from its Observation Decks than from its 85 Floors of Office Space 

The Empire State Building might be the most famous office landlord in the world, but it’s the view from the 102-story skyscraper that’s the real moneymaker. In 2013, the building’s owner Empire State Realty Trust became a publicly-traded company, meaning that their quarterly and yearly earnings reports are a matter of public record. In 2014while the building’s two observation decks generated $111 million (40% of total revenue), its office space leases netted just $104 million (37% of total revenue). 

More Time Passed Between the Start and End of Construction on the Great Wall of China than Between the Start of Christianity and Today 

The idea of a single, unified wall to protect China from invaders began when Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China (221–206 BC) connected various fortifications built between the 8th and 3rd centuries. Construction continued through 1878, meaning that, including the original fortifications, the wall was under construction for over 2,600 years. 

 

Mentioned Links 

Thank you~ 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer  
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 

 

Thank you for tuning in to Summer Plumber! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

“Summer Plumber” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired August 01, 2020. 

Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 

About Samantha Reed

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