Four plumbing checks you should make during summer

With Sydney forecast to enjoy summer temperatures for a few more months yet, the heat can herald a whole bunch of plumbing issues.

Here are four checks that will keep you cool (temperature AND temperament) through the final months.

1. Air conditioning checks

If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning, don’t squander that luck by neglecting your air conditioning unit. 

Air conditioning units consist of an evaporator, a condenser and a motor that distributes the air. Clean the filters at least once a year and schedule an annual maintenance to ensure the unit is working as it should. Many Sydney homes have reverse cycle air con and regular maintenance will ensure your home stays warm in winter too.

2. Duct soup

Humidity can cause your heating/air conditioning ducts to sweat and the condensation might cause a backup if the drains are not clear. Check for leaks in the seams, as that can also add to the condensation. You can usually prevent condensation by drying the air around the ducts, for example by ensuring there is enough airflow, or by using insulation around the ducts to prevent them from sweating so much.

3. Declutter your gutter

If you haven’t already done so, make sure your gutters are clear and free of debris such as fallen leaves and bark. Summer storms, where the rain falls quickly and heavily, can cause gutters to overflow if they aren’t clear, which can cause damage to your roof, walls and foundations.

Clear your gutters to avoid build-up of debris and overflows during a storm

Clear your gutters to avoid build-up of debris and overflows during a storm

Consider installing a leaf guard for your gutter.  Inspect your gutters and downpipes for rust, holes or overflows.  Flush downpipes with a fast running hose. Have your plumber/roofer attend to any issues you can’t manage yourself BEFORE it starts raining. If you live near bushland, be aware that dry summer heat is also prime time for bushfires and any fuel (i.e. dead leaves) lying around near your house is a hazard.

4. Pain in the drain

Be very wary of any slow-to-drain toilets or sinks. With the ridiculously low rainfall that Sydney (and the rest of NSW) has had this summer, trees are T H I R S T Y.  Their powerful roots will break through the 100-year-old clay pipes that sit under the beautiful old homes of the inner west and eastern suburbs in no time at all. You can do a DIY drain health check by flushing your toilet and filling your sinks to the top and checking the drain rate. To really put the pressure on your sewer system, do it during the drain cycle of your washing machine.

Make sure any gullies in the garden are clear. These are your emergency overflows to prevent sewerage from backing up into your home. In other words, don’t neglect them! Clear away any dirt or leaves that cover them. Don’t know what a gully looks like? Take a look here.

What maintenance do you do around the house to keep cool?