Kid with water hose

You may not realize it, but your plumbing system gets more of a workout during the summer (from sprinklers, pools and garden hoses) than any other time of year.  Keeping your plumbing system in good shape will save you energy and money, too!

  • Outdoor fun leads to more dirty clothes, which means increased usage of your washing machine.  Check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks.  A burst hose can leave devastating results behind in your home, while wasting oodles of water.  Also, make sure to remove dryer lint regularly.  “Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings according to the U.S. Fire Administration.  Lint build-up also makes your dryer work harder, using more energy than necessary.
  • Be careful what you put down your garbage disposal after a cookout.  Keep a garbage can handy to throw away scraps.  “Stringy”, fibrous foods such as cornhusks, celery and banana peels can cause clogs.  Also, avoid putting excessive grease or oils down the drain.  For greasy foods, run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds before and after to help flush it down. 
  • Utilize your dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes.  With today’s efficient dishwashers you’ll use less water than hand washing.   According to research (www.consumerenergycenter.org), a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. You can also save energy by letting the dishes in your dishwasher air dry.
  • Summer rainfall entering sewer pipes via cracks can lead to sewer line backups, a common problem during the summer months.  New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of nutrition.   Have a plumber inspect your sewer line to access potential sewer line problems.  Your plumber will be able to determine the best treatment option for proper drain clearing.
  • Check for leaks throughout your home.  Check faucets, toilets, showerheads and other fixtures for leaks.  Look inside cabinets under sinks and around toilets for water damage.   Leaks are one of the most common culprits for wasting water in any season.  Even a small drip can waste up to 50-100 gallons of water a week and this small leak can cost you in higher utility bills.  You could literally be throwing money down the drain!  Some leaks are hard to detect, called hidden leaks.  You can check for these hidden leaks by examining your water meter during a period of time when no water is being used, overnight is the best time to do this.  If your meter moves over this time period you have a leak that needs to be fixed.  Contact Mr. Plumber, your Raleigh plumber right away!

Sources:
www.ehow.com
www.insurancesguide.org 
www.usfa.dhs.gov
www.consumerenergycenter.org
www.epa.gov