After the coldest months of the year have passed, it is important to prepare the pipes in your home plumbing system before the mild spring weather turns warmer in the summertime. Here’s how to prepare your pipes for So Cal Summer.

Most households use more water during the summer than during any other season. This increase in water usage is due to a variety of reasons. Many people use a lot of water to fill and maintain their backyard pools during the summertime when the weather is warmer and pools are getting more use. Lawns and gardens also need to be watered more frequently in the summer to prevent them from drying out in the summer sun.

Increased water usage puts more demand on your pipes and can lead to plumbing problems during the summer. Also, pipe damage sustained from harsh temperature changes during the winter months is oftentimes detected once summer arrives. These problems are especially prevalent in Southern California, where the weather reaches extremely hot temperatures during the summer.

Get ahead of summertime plumbing problems in SoCal by preparing your pipes before summer arrives. Keep reading to discover 5 things you should do to prepare the pipes in your home plumbing system for summer in Southern California before it is too late.

1. Watch Out for Leaks

Leaks are one of the most common home plumbing problems, especially during the summer. Harsh temperature changes throughout the winter can cause pipes in your home plumbing system to expand and contract, which can, in turn, cause these pipes to spring a leak, or even burst.

It is important to know how to recognize some of the most common signs of water leaks in your home plumbing system. Start by inspecting any visible pipes in your home. If you notice any loose seals or rust or corrosion, there is a good chance there is a leak in one of those pipes. Running toilets and abnormal plumbing sounds are also telltale signs of a water leak you have not yet detected.

2. Look for Sweat

During the summer, it is common for pipes to sweat because of the harsh difference in temperature between the cool water inside the pipes and the hot summer air outside the pipes.

While a sweating pipe does not signify a water leak, it still wastes water. Wrapping your pipes as you would winterize them in order to prevent them from freezing in cold winter weather can also help prevent your pipes from sweating during the summertime.

3. Turn Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

Unless you have encountered recent plumbing problems that have required you to shut off the main water supply to your home, your main water shutoff valve has likely not been turned for a very long time. Lack of use can cause this valve to stiffen and make turning it when necessary much more difficult.

Shutting off the water supply to your home is one of the first recommended steps to take when you discover a plumbing problem—such as a water leak—in your home, so it is crucial that your main water shutoff valve is functioning properly at all times. Before summer arrives, locate your main water shutoff valve and turn it clockwise and counterclockwise several times to loosen it and dissipate any stiffness that may have developed from lack of use.

Hopefully, you won’t need to use your main water shutoff valve in the near future, but you’ll thank yourself for your efforts to ensure its proper functioning in the case that a plumbing emergency strikes in your home.

4. Monitor Your Sprinkler System

Another place to prepare your pipes for So Cal Summer is in the yard. If you’re like most homeowners with a lawn and/or a garden, you probably use your sprinkler system more heavily and more frequently during the warmest months of the year. Plants require more water when the weather is hot and dry, as it so often is during the summer months in Southern California.

sprinkler system

sprinkler system

Before summer arrives in full swing, monitor your sprinkler system to make sure it is functioning properly. Over time, your sprinkler heads can spring leaks, and debris such as dirt or weeds, or grass can obstruct the sprinklers and cause them to spray in the wrong direction or inhibit them from spraying effectively at all.

Monitoring your sprinkler system to ensure it is in working order before summertime can help you avoid wasting water and dealing with dying plants and grass all summer long.

5. Check for Expansion

As summertime approaches and the weather gets warmer, the pipes in your home plumbing system can expand as they come into contact with air at higher temperatures. This expansion can cause pipes to crack, which can, in turn, lead to leaking or bursting pipes.

Before summer arrives, inspect any visible pipes around your home—i.e. the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks and even your garden hose—and pay special attention to whether there are any cracks on the exterior of the pipes.

If you do see any cracks—even if the crack is barely visible and does not have any water actively leaking from it—call in a professional plumber to fix the damage as soon as possible. Throughout the summer, your pipes will only continue to expand—which will cause the cracks in them to widen and leak more water if you do not get the initial cracks fixed ASAP. Call us if you need help!