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Cracked pipe filled with roots

Summertime Threats to Your Plumbing

Home water usage often skyrockets in the summer, as outdoor activities increase and your yard and landscaping need more water to grow and flourish. Knowing the most common summertime threats to your plumbing is the best way to avoid an inconvenient interruption to your daily life associated with a leak, clog, or broken fixture. Keep reading to learn more about the most common plumbing problems you can expect to encounter during the warm summer months in Portland, as well as how to avoid them using a few simple steps.

Outdoor Wear and Tear

Although your outdoor faucets are most vulnerable during winter freezes, they can also fall prey to plumbing problems during the summer. Increased outdoor water usage, whether you’re watering your garden, washing the car, or setting up a sprinkler for the kids, can cause progressive wear and tear on these fixtures. Worn threading can affect the quality of the seal you get when attaching a hose, while too much tugging or pulling on an attached hose or appliance can cause the metal of the faucet itself to bend out of shape and weaken the structure. Increased usage can also affect the spigot that controls water flow through the faucet, leaving it more likely to leak over time. Always take care when using outdoor faucets and make sure you’re using a hose that’s long enough to reach the distance over which you plan to use it. Try not to over-tighten the spigot when closing it and take note of any leaks immediately and contact your plumber for assistance. Addressing a leak when it is small is far preferable to experiencing a drastic increase in your water bill and basement flooding if too much water seeps into the area near your foundation.


Although you may rarely think of your landscaping as a threat, tree and shrub roots can go questing quite far from the plants’ base in search of water and other nutrients. If they encounter your sewer drain, which typically runs just a few feet beneath your yard on its way to the main system under your street, these roots can slowly work their way inside the pipe, causing it to rupture and leak. Not only will you discover a growing patch of soggy, sour-smelling earth in the middle of your beautiful yard, but you may also start experiencing signs of a major sewer clog such as backups and gurgling toilets inside your home. A clogged sewer line is a serious matter that your professional plumber will need to address—he’ll first need to eliminate the roots causing the problem, then replace the section of damaged pipe to restore the flow of untreated wastewater away from your home. The best way to prevent a root-related sewer line clog is to find out where your sewer line is located, and avoid planting landscaping directly over or adjacent to it. You can also talk to your plumber about a list of trees and shrubs that are considered sewer line-friendly and less likely to cause clogs with far-reaching roots.

Your Portland Plumber is your best resource when it comes to avoiding home plumbing issues, no matter the season. We invite you to check us out on Facebook and Google for more helpful home plumbing tips, tricks, and tales.