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Plumbing Tips for Summer

Professional plumbers in Massachusetts serve many purposes. They help with installing plumbing including tubs, sinks, showers, toilets, and even gas appliances—a lot of people do not realize that it is a plumber who works with the fittings for gas, but they do. This comes in handy when building a new home or remodeling an old one, especially when remodeling the bathroom or kitchen. Plumbers are also the ones we call on when we get clogged drains, burst pipes, and other water related maladies in our home. But, the plumbing contractor is also one of the best people you can ask when you are looking for was to maximize efficiency and cut down on water consumption.

Using less water in your home has two major effects. First, it lowers the water and gas bill. That saves us money and who doesn’t like saving money, especially these days? Beyond that, it is better for the environment. With all the talk about going green today, people have begun to take notice of how quickly the environment around us is falling apart. Did you know some believe the increase of the number of sink holes—the ones you hear about in the news swallowing whole cars or even houses—is due to depletion of natural water pockets under the earth’s crust? Pius, all the fresh water we use up takes longer to be replenished than it takes for us to consume, so we are to turn to other resources including water that has been drawn from the salt water of the ocean and reclaimed water from sewage systems. We are using more than we can afford to and people have started to take notice and take action.

Plumbers in Winthrop, Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and other parts of Massachusetts can tell you that using more water is also one way to need to replace appliances, faucets and other plumbing sooner rather than later. This is especially true if you live in one of the many areas with hard water, as the calcium and other mineral deposits wreak havoc on pipes, fittings, and appliances. Even with a water softener, this can happen and then you need to be sure to have the water heater repaired and maintained regularly.

These tips from a MA plumbing contractor will help you stay cool and clean during the summer, but also help to avoid increased bills and water wastage.

As the weather gets cold then hot then cold again, the rubber hoses on our washing machines were not meant to last forever. In fact, in most places, they are not expected to last more than a few years. With the extra work a clothes washer is going to go through over the summer including the towels, bathing suits, and extra clothes that are getting dirty while we and our kids are out enjoying our fun in the sun means that we should keep a close eye on this important household appliance. To do this, check the hoses for the washer. You are going to be looking for cracks, bulges or leaks. If you find any of these, the fix is simply to replace them. The washing machine should also be at least six inches from the wall. This will prevent the hoses from kinking, but—in the event the washer becomes unbalanced—will prevent it from walking into and damaging walls. The RRPMs put out from the newer, front load washing machines is strong enough they have been known to walk right through walls and damage concrete. While you are down in the laundry room, take a few minutes and make sure that the drier lint has been being removed properly and hasn’t accumulated in or around the dryer. It’s a good idea, depending on how much laundry you do, to once a month or every couple of months run the long slender nozzle of a vaccum cleaner down a lint shoot.

If you happen to go on vacation over the summer, there are a number of things you can and should due to help save some money. Turning the temperature down on the water heater is not something a lot of us thing of, but we should. Turning the temperature down here will help save on gas or electric bills, which always seem to be bigger than we expected them to be.

The condensation from air conditioners can ruin walls, ceilings, and floors. Be sure that you take care of any water spots immediately, as this condensation can form around the duct work, especially during times of high humidity. If you notice that drip pans are not filling you could be having an issue with a clog which could back up and damage the whole system, so be sure to keep an eye out for that as well.

The summer rains bring with them a number of problems. Sewer line back ups are extremely common as rain water enters into the system via cracks. These backups can also be caused by new tree root growth during the spring months, but we typically won’t notice the issue for at least a few months. The roots are drawn toward the moisture as a nutrient. It is a good idea to have sewer lines inspected with a video drain inspection to make sure you are not going to have any unexpected backups during the year.

With summer, we also see a lot of get- togethers for a good, old fashioned barbeque. Plumbers in Massachusetts commonly get calls soon thereafter. There tends to be a lot of clean up and a number of things get put down the garbage disposal. Unfortunately, we sometimes have people being overzealous in offering to help wash dishes in return for the great food and good times, but they are not as familiar with our plumbing. So, food often ends up getting put into the garbage disposal, and a lot of that can cause issues. Cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other stringy food down the drain into a garbage disposal can get caught around the rotors and cause the motor to burn out. You should also avoid putting fat or grease into the drain because this can easily lead to a clogged drain. Foods that have water added to them in order to make like instant mashed potatoes or stuffing will expand and cause a clog in the drain as well. Throw this away, use it as compost, but do not put it down your drain.

Keep in mind that when you water your lawn and plants during the summer can make a huge difference. Doing so during the hottest part of the day can cause water to evaporate and otherwise be wasted. It is best to set sprinklers to run or water your plants during the early morning or later evening hours, just before the sun goes down.

There are a variety of appliances that can be added to the home with relative ease to help cut down the cost of water this summer. You might consider the newer tankless water heater systems. There are also faucets and aspirators that can be added to virtually any sink or plumbing system that help limit the water being used. Many newer homes have already installed low flow toilets and high efficiency water heaters. These and the high efficiency washing machines will use less power and water, so you end up saving two ways. Sometimes, there are tax credits you can get by upgrading the appliances in your home and a local plumber or appliance store can help you find out if there are currently any such offers in Massachusetts.

Whatever you do when trying to save money on water costs this summer, it is important to remember that trying to carrying out DIY plumbing repairs can end up being very costly. Using a plumber’s snake without the proper experience and training can easily lead to creating a worse clog or even burst pipes. Using chemical drain cleaners produces dangerous fumes and can cause backsplash leading to chemical burn. Improperly installed pipes and fittings can cause big or small leaks. The big leaks create a big mess right away. Those small leaks may go unnoticed causes rot and mold to grow for a long time before being noticed.

For help on learning how to make your home more efficient or with plumbing repairs in Massachusetts, be sure to give us a call.