Holiday Plumbing Headaches and How You Can Avoid Them

December 15th, 2017 · No Comments · by

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The holiday season is a busy time with lots of preparation happening including decorating, cooking and baking, and cleaning so you’re ready for all the events the season throws your way. One event you don’t want to happen during the holidays is a plumbing issue which can bring your event to a screeching halt if serious enough. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common plumbing problems that occur around the holidays and some tips on how you can prevent them so you can enjoy your holidays to the fullest!

Clogged Drain

Clogged drains are annoying at any time of year, but are especially annoying during the holidays. Your drains are at a higher risk of getting clogged at this time of year however, as there is an increase of activity in the kitchen with scraps being washed away, and a very good chance of extra guests in your home, putting added stress on your drains and pipes. So how can you prevent clogged drains this holiday season, and in general?

  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. Although liquid when hot, once cooled grease will harden in your pipes, making a clog more easily formed. Better disposal of grease is to let it cool and harden and scoop it into the garbage.
  • Use a drain screen. Drain screens are inexpensive but work wonders catching debris before it goes down your drain. Drain screens are especially useful for bath and shower drains as hair and soap scum are some of the major culprits in clogging drains and pipes in the bathroom.
  • Get into a preventative routine. Something as simple as pouring boiling water down your drains once a week can make a big difference in maintaining clear drains. Boiling water helps to clear scum and build-up without the harsh, and often damaging, effects of chemical cleaners.

Clogged Toilet

With an increase in visitors or guests over the holidays, a clogged toilet is bound to happen at one point. How can you prevent a clogged toilet?

  • Only flush toilet-appropriate items. Toilets are only designed to flush toilet paper and liquid and solid waste. If you already follow that general rule for what to flush but aren’t confident your guests or visitors will follow the same rules you can leave a garbage pail close to the toilet with a short note asking guests to throw paper towels, napkins, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls and any other common bathroom items in the trash instead.

Jammed Garbage Disposal

There is a misconception that garbage disposals can handle anything. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, and proper care should be taken in using yours in a safe manner to keep your disposal working properly at all times. As with drains, the holidays can mean a higher amount than usual of food scraps needing to be disposed of and it can often be disposed of in the wrong way. So what are some items that can or cannot go in your garbage disposal?

  • Bones and fruit pits. Bones and fruit pits should be kept out of the garbage disposal as they will spin around with the blades of the disposal without breaking down sufficiently
  • Celery, corn husks and asparagus. The fibrous strings in these foods cannot be broken down by a garbage disposal’s blades, and rather tend to get tangled up in the disposal
  • Coffee grinds. Although coffee grinds may seem like a harmless item to put in the garbage disposal, they can cause a sludge in your drains, making it easier for clogs to occur
  • Cooking oils and fats are a big no. As with drains, fats and cooking oils solidify when cooled and can stick to your pipes making it easier for other items to get stuck and create a clog in no time. Allow your fats and cooking oils to cool completely and scoop into the garbage.
  • Let the water flow. To keep your disposal clean and help the waste be broken down and washed away more efficiently, it is useful to run water before turning your disposal on, and continue to let it run the duration of use as well as a few seconds afterwards to help push the waste down the pipes.

If you are worried your guests will put food in your disposal that would be better suited for the garbage, consider using disposable plates so your guests are less likely to rinse their plates into the sink after they are done eating.

We hope these holiday plumbing tips help you enjoy your time with your family and friends rather than spending it fixing a plumbing issue that could have been easily avoided. As always, if you have any plumbing questions, or need the help of a professional, DrainWorks is here to help.

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Tags: Drains · General Interest · Home Plumbing Tips · Preventative Maintenance · Showers · Showers Faucets Sinks · Toilets

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