Check These Plumbing Boxes Before You Buy a Cottage

Are you in the market for a cottage? Looking for a summer escape for your family? We love that Niagara is close to so many amazing places for you to find your dream cottage. We do, however, have a few things to help you find a cottage that suits your family’s needs and won’t set you up to spend more money on plumbing issues. 

When looking at possible cottages, it is important to really dive into the plumbing system. Many of these buildings are older, not on a municipal water system, and sit dormant for the winter months which can mask some unpleasant surprises. 

Water Supply:

Identify the cottage’s water supply. Does the water run off a well or a water pump in the lake? You also want to see what condition the pipes associated with the property’s water supply are in. Unmaintained pipes could not only mean problems down the line but could also mean the water source hasn’t been well maintained either. No one wants a leak on opening weekend after a long winter. 

Septic Tank: 

Is there a sewage system or a septic tank/field. This is a crucial piece of information because it can determine long term maintenance planning if your cottage runs on an older septic tank. 

Water Damage: 

Look at the walls and ceiling closely, keeping an eye out for water damage and staining. Previous issues may mean that the system is in need of updates, repairs, or long overdue maintenance. 

Test the Plumbing:

Go around and turn each of the faucets on and off to test both the hot water and water pressure. No one wants a cold shower because the water heater is in need of an upgrade or a tap that hardly runs because the water pump hasn’t been properly maintained over the years. 

Cottages are wonderful and provide an escape from the busyness of everyday life but without the proper information, can become a burden on your pockets. To ensure that your investment is going to be both fun and frugal, make sure your potential property ticks all the boxes with the tips above. It’s a good idea to bring a licenced plumber along for your inspection to catch any hidden issues. Contact Wellbrook Plumbing for an appointment to check out your Niagara cottage today.

How Rain Affects Your Plumbing System

Living in the Niagara region means that we are no stranger to lake effect weather, whether it is white and cold or warm and wet, we get it all. During the spring and early summer, rain is prevalent, especially this year, which can be hard on your plumbing system. 

Pressure on your pipes

Rain turns the ground around your pumps to mud which weighs considerably more than dry soil. This means that your pipes that run underground will suddenly have more exterior pressure and weight on them than usual. Your plumbing system is flexible and built for changes like these, however, too much rain too quickly can mean that your pipes are suddenly burdened with more than they can handle. The more external pressure placed on your pipes the more likely they are to shift and possibly rupture causing a flood. 

Pipe Blockages

As we mentioned, the additional pressure placed on your pipes by excess rain can cause them to shift. This shifting can sometimes cause cracking if they are forced into a position that they were not meant to be in. The problem with this is that these cracks can allow rocks and sediment to seep into the pipes and cause a backup, which means water in your home. In the spring and summer, keep an eye out on your lower levels for signs of moisture as this can be a sign of a larger issue. 

Tired Sump Pumps Spell Trouble

More rain equals more water runoff. We know that because of gravity, rain runs downhill. If you are located in a floodplain or at the bottom of a slope, you likely have a sump pump that works to collect water and pump it back up and away from your home. When we receive excess rain, your sump pump can get overworked and become unable to keep up with the amount of water runoff. This means your more susceptible to flooding in your crawlspace or basement. Ensure that you have a sump pump powerful enough for the size of your home, that you perform regular maintenance, and that there is a backup source of power in case of a blackout. 

In order to help prepare your home for rain, we suggest that you contact a licensed plumber to perform annual maintenance and check for any aspects of your plumbing system that may be in need of repair or replacement before they become a larger cause for concern. At Wellbrook, our experienced technicians are well versed in both above ground and underground plumbing systems, which means that you can sail through the rainy season without worry.

Common Summer Plumbing Issues

For many people, summer means the kids are home from school and more people are at home during the day. For your plumbing system, this means more pressure, and on the rare occasion, foreign objects that aren’t meant to be in your pipes.  

Common clogs 

Having the kids home for the summer is great but it can mean that your plumbing system is going to get a workout. Make sure that your kids understand some simple things like how much toilet paper is too much (the most common source of clogs is too much toilet paper) and what you can and cannot flush down the toilet. Following these simple guidelines could mean the difference between smooth sailing and a plumbing problem. 

Check your connections

Summer means more laundry (Thank you beach trips!), more dishes, and more toilet flushes. Make sure that you’ve checked your plumbings connections so that the extra work doesn’t cause any leaks. Check the washing machine and dishwasher connections to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. 

Sprinkler System Failure

Underground sprinkler systems have sat unused for the winter so when you get them back up and running again, there could be leaks that affect not only your pipes but your water bills! Portable sprinkler heads need to be cleaned before the first use of the season to remove any build p that can cause the water to back up in the hose. For any kind of sprinkler system, ensure that you have checked the heads for damage to ensure that water isn’t being wasted by spraying in every direction other than where you are hoping to water. 

Water heater

Headed away for a few days this summer? Turn down your water heater while you’re away. Your water doesn’t need to be heated while there isn’t anyone there to use it. This helps extend the life of your water heater, which is on average 8-11 years. Plus, your wallet will thank you as well. 

Summer should be so much fun, don’t let one of these plumbing problems dampen your vacation. Call Wellbrook Plumbing if you’re noticing any moisture in and around your appliance connections, if you end up with a kids toy down the drain, or if your sprinkler system is serving you with less than ideal water pressure so your summer plans don’t get washed away.