Outdoor plumbing issues may cause serious damage to your San Diego property if left unmanaged. The good news is that San Diego’s coastal desert climate means you won’t have to deal with frozen pipes. But the bad news is that you can easily forget that outdoor plumbing needs upkeep, too. Here are seven major outdoor plumbing issues to avoid.
Gutters carry rainwater away from the house, but if they’re clogged with dirt, leaves, bird nests, and other debris, the lanes cannot direct water off the roof to a designated area. Instead, water overflows and pours off the side of the roof. Excessive water may damage house siding, create soil erosion, and crack the building’s foundation. If the house doesn’t have a covered lane system, clean the gutters every six months.
2. Sewer Blockage
Underground sewer lines connect to the water system, and there’s nothing yuckier than having a clogged sewer redirect gunk back into the bathroom or kitchen. If water is backing up out of drains, it may be headed toward sinks or toilets.
Drain cleaners may help with light clogs, but finding the problem is important for the long-term health of sewer lines. Plumbing cameras can determine the source of the clog and whether there’s any damage to pipes.
3. Outside Faucets
Even in the driest of climates, your home needs an outdoor water source, especially because the San Diego area only gets about 12 inches of rain per year. Hoses and sprinkler systems put pressure on outdoor faucets, especially in summer.
Loose or leaking taps could lead to a line break. Old, rusted faucets may be hard to turn, and inside washers may have their grooves stripped. Keeping your outside water system well-maintained will save water –– and save you from the headache of dealing with a busted water line.
4. Tree Roots
Large live trees with strong, spreading root systems can damage sewer lines, pipes, asphalt, and masonry (especially when growing near the house). Removing the roots of live (and dead or chopped down trees) isn’t an easy project for some DIYers. But if you’re trying to save a few bucks, consult a “how to remove tree roots” guide.
5. Pool Drool
In-ground swimming pools are big investments and can be big outdoor plumbing issues, but the value on a hot summer day is priceless! Inspecting the pool area, even when it’s not in use, is something for your household to-do list.
Water dripping around the pool edge could be a sign that pipes may need replacing.
Potential swimming pool water problems are:
Algae causes blocked filters and hoses. Pool chemicals and replacement filters may help with minor problems, especially in above-ground pools, but it’s best to call a plumber or pool expert for leaks around in-ground pools and hot tubs.
Automatic sprinklers are convenient for keeping the lawn hydrated, and today’s technology lets you manage them with a tap of your cell phone. Repairing automatic sprinklers is a relatively easy outdoor plumbing issue –– if you know what you’re doing.
Replace cracked or broken plastic pipes and clean dirt and debris from clogged sprinkler heads and filters. Low water pressure in one or more sprinkler heads could be the result of a water line leak. If water is leaking, you should see:
If you prefer to DIY, repairing the leak takes a little know-how –– mistakes can end up costing you more money in the long run.
7. Well Water Systems
Residential wells have drop pipes and casing that extend below the ground into the water table. Leaks may crop up in the pipes or discharge lines. If the drop or discharge pipes are wet, you might see dripping water around the well cap. These types of leaks –– usually tiny and hard to spot –– lead to higher utility bills, extra water usage, and a reduced pump lifespan. The biggest problem with cracked casings, though, is the potential for contaminated water.
Homeowners can handle a lot of DIY projects, but when it comes to HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, it’s best to hire a professional. Water is a precious commodity in California, but when you hire a pro for outdoor plumbing services, you’re not only saving money in the long run, you’re saving natural resources, too.