Holiday Plumbing Tips
During the rush of the holiday season, it can be easy to take your home’s plumbing for granted. However, this is the time of year that your home’s drains and fixtures get put through the most use, especially if you host parties or have guests staying with you from out of town. While no one wants to deal with a broken garbage disposal or a backed-up toilet on Christmas Eve, these problems happen every year.
That’s why we’ve compiled these tips to prevent the common issues that crop up around the holiday season.
Tips for the Bathroom
1. Give your guests a place to toss their garbage.
Most people know that they shouldn’t flush any garbage but toilet paper down the toilet. However, if there’s nowhere else to toss their trash, the toilet might seem like a less embarrassing option than taking their trash with them and asking where they can throw it away. Make things easy for your guests by keeping a waste bin next to the “throne.”
2. Warn guests about your plumbing fixtures’ quirks.
At some point, we’ve all fumbled with an unfamiliar shower faucet or clogged a toilet with too much paper at another person’s home. These situations can be awkward for guests and hosts alike.
Avoid this awkwardness by letting your guests know if any of your plumbing fixtures are a little peculiar. If your guests are staying overnight, show them how the shower works in advance so that they don’t have to ask you in the morning or when everyone is ready for bed.
Tips for the Kitchen
1. Keep an eye on what goes down the garbage disposal.
While it’s okay to let some food remnants enter your garbage disposal, these items are almost guaranteed to cause a clog or jam in the unit:
- Potato peels
- Pasta and rice
- Fibrous vegetables
- Seeds, pits, and stems
- Coffee grounds
- Bones and gristle
2. Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain.
Grease, oil, and fat tend to solidify as they cool off in your drains. This can result in buildup on your pipe walls and stubborn clogs. Dispose of cooking fats or oils directly into the garbage or into a jar where you can keep it until you’re ready to throw it away.
3. Run hot water down the kitchen drain after washing dishes.
Even if you manage to get most of the grease off of your pans and dishes before washing them, there will still be remnants of that grease that will make it down the drain. To prevent clogs, run hot water down the drain for at least 30 seconds after washing the dishes.
Already Have a Clog or a Slow Drain?
If you have a clog or a slow drain now, holiday guests in your home could worsen the issue, even if they try to be careful. To prevent a plumbing emergency in the middle of a festive gathering, schedule professional drain cleaning in advance. In many cases, the technician will be able to fix the clog with a few simple plumbing tools, such as a drain snake. In more severe cases, hydrojetting might offer the best long-term solution.