Spring brings a new batch of plumbing problems

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - With the heat cranking up in the Grand Valley so is the pressure on local water companies to keep up with summertime demands. This spike in usage is just one of the many plumbing issues that comes with the arrival of spring.

As the Grand Valley starts to heat up many people are watering more to keep their lawn green. This increase in use means the water company has to turn up the pressure to meet the demand, which can cause damage. "The water pressure can exceed 70 psi and it can damage the fixtures in your homes," says Harry Warr of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Too much water pressure can lead to problems like leaky faucets, toilets and water heaters, which can all lead to major problems if not fixed.

Most newer homes have a pressure reducing valve already installed but some older homes might not. Homeowners can easily check their water pressure themselves. "Go down to hardware store and get a water pressure gauge and put in on their outside hose bib and turn it on," says Warr. This quick and inexpensive check can save you lots of time and money down the road.

Another problem is plugged sewer lines. As tree roots grow and stretch to find much needed water, they can penetrate your sewer lines and really back things up. "Slow drains or smell, bad odors coming up through the sink," says Warr. Snaking you drain can relieve the problem for a little while but the roots will grow back. A professional plumber can put a camera in the line to diagnose the problem and fix it before it gets worse. "If it's a root problem then there's more going on because roots shouldn't be able to enter the line at all," says Warr.

Another big water consumer is the swamp cooler. Failure to winterize one properly can lead to leakage in the supply line. "When the homeowner hooks the waterline back up somewhere in the basement there could be a hole in the water line," says Warr. A leaky swamp cooler can cause some major damage to roof and walls before the problem is even noticed.

One appliance that needs to be checked every year is the hot water heater pressure relief valve. If this valve is not working properly and your pressure is too high it could potentially blow up.

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