Whether you have a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, sprinkler system, fountains, or have pipes that carry water to animals, outdoor plumbing requires different maintenance than indoor plumbing. While you won't have to worry about your ceiling caving in because of a leak in an upstairs bathroom, you could end up with a flooded yard or a loss of water to the house if the right pipes break. Here are a few things you need to know about outdoor plumbing fixtures.
Outdoor pipes are not protected from the weather the way your indoor pipes are. This means they are susceptible to freezing in the winter, quicker rusting due to the minerals in the ground, and general breaking down due to exposure to heat and the elements. While you can bury the pipes deep enough to prevent them from freezing, you must also wrap them in something to protect them from minerals in the ground. Having to find and dig up a broken pipe is time-consuming and not fun. Ask a plumber the best way to protect pipes in the ground in your area as weather and mineral content is different everywhere.
Dirt, Pollen, and Debris
Any open outdoor plumbing, such as a sink, swimming pool, and animal water tanks are prone to excessive amounts of dirt, dust, and debris. They will need to be cleaned regularly. You should find strainers to put in all drains to reduce the amount and severity of clogs. If you do end up with a clog that cannot be removed with a plunger, it is best to call in a professional. You do not want to make matters worse by trying to use forced air or a snake in the pipes.
Any place where the pipes must come out of the ground to attach to a fixture, you need to have some sort of box to cover them. The box should be insulated to keep them from freezing in the winter and should be secured to the ground. Without this protection, it is easy for an animal or person to accidentally break the pipe. In addition, you need to be aware of where the pipes are underground so you do not drive over them too often. The weight of a vehicle can compact the ground and put pressure on the pipes, causing them to break.
Anytime you have a problem with outdoor plumbing, it is best to get professional help from a plumbing service. A simple leak underground can cause areas to cave in or may end up flooding your basement. Don't feel you can let a problem go because it is outside, you never know what other problems it could cause.