Is Your Home’s Plumbing Ready for the Holiday Season?
Keep It Running Smoothly with These Five Tips!
During the holiday season, it is common for families and friends to come together, enjoy each other’s company, and participate in cherished holiday customs. As a result, there tends to be a greater number of visitors during this time than any other time of the year. Additionally, people tend to utilize their kitchens more frequently between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, whether it’s for preparing holiday meals, baking seasonal desserts and cookies, or creating other festive treats.
Consequently, the plumbing in both your kitchen and bathroom will likely be used more frequently during this time of year. Without planning and preventive maintenance, you risk encountering clogged sinks, backed-up drains, and overflowing toilets. The challenge of finding a 24-hour plumber to help, particularly on a holiday, should not be overlooked since they are in high demand.
Tip #1: Prevent Clogged Drains
To avoid potential drain clogs, it’s best to refrain from disposing large objects, food scraps, hair, grease, and similar materials down your drains. While it’s impossible to prevent everything from entering the drain, you can reduce the amount by utilizing drain screens or filters. These devices can capture larger objects and most hair, preventing them from becoming blockages.
Pro tip: If you observe slow drainage from your sinks before the holiday season, it’s a sign that a clog is forming. Rather than waiting until it becomes an emergency, contact a plumber immediately to have your drains cleaned. This preemptive measure will help you avoid an unexpected house call in the future.
Tip #2: Prevent Garbage Disposal Problems
Garbage disposals are incredibly useful appliances that can dispose of a wide range of food waste. However, certain materials should not be placed in the disposal as they can cause strain, overheating, and clogs.
Firstly, never dispose of any type of bone in the garbage disposal as they are hard and can cause damage to the blades. Large bone pieces can also create a clog. Potato peelings should also be avoided as they can cause clogs and overheat the disposal. Similarly, fruit rinds, hard vegetables, and other peelings should not be disposed of in the garbage disposal as they can damage the blades and create clogs.
Hot grease should never be poured into the disposal as it can cause problems in both the disposal and drain pipes, leading to foul smells and larger issues. Always run water when using the disposal to help move smaller food particles and prevent overheating of the blades and moving parts.
To ensure proper functioning, it’s recommended to have the disposal professionally cleaned by a plumber at least once a year, especially before the holiday season if the disposal is frequently used.
Tip #3: Prevent Overflowing Toilets
During holiday events and gatherings, toilets in your home will be used more frequently, leading to the potential for clogs from excessive toilet paper or improper flushing of objects not meant to be flushed. Additionally, some clogs may occur due to various plumbing problems affecting the flushing mechanism’s pressure.
To prevent such issues, check for water leaks around toilets and inspect the flushing mechanism and flapper to ensure they are functioning correctly. It’s important not to delay fixing any existing toilet problems, as they can quickly escalate and ruin your festivities.
To prepare for potential clogs, keep plungers next to the primary toilets and place visible trash cans to encourage guests to dispose of waste properly. If you hear water running occasionally without flushing, it indicates a bad flapper seal, which should be repaired to prevent water waste and reduced flushing pressure.
By taking preventative measures and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure your holiday gatherings go smoothly without any bathroom mishaps.
Tip #4: Fix Drips and Leaks
To avoid potential water damage during the holiday season, it’s important to check for leaks and drips in accessible areas, such as under-sink cabinets. Some leaks may be obvious due to cracked pipes or loose fittings, while others may be more subtle and gradual.
If you notice water stains under your kitchen sink but can’t identify the source of the leak, it’s likely a slow leak that will worsen over time if left untreated. Don’t let a small problem turn into a major issue that ruins your holiday festivities.
For sinks, showers, and tubs, be on the lookout for dripping water when the faucet is turned off or leaking around the faucet when it’s on. These issues are often caused by faulty washers that need to be replaced.
Depending on the age and design of the faucet, replacing the washer may be sufficient. However, older or single-piece faucets may need to be replaced entirely to prevent further leaks and ensure proper functioning. Contact a plumber to assess the situation and make any necessary repairs before the holidays arrive.
Tip #5: Get Your Hot Water Heater Flushed
If you have a tank-style water heater, sediment buildup can impede its performance. If you hear snapping, cracking, or popping sounds when the water heater is heating water, sediment is likely the culprit. When a hot water tank malfunctions, it can cause several issues that are a headache for homeowners, such as:
- No hot water for bathing, laundry, or dishwashing.
- Over-pressurization of water, leading to hot water flowing out of the pressure release valve.
- Leaks developing at the bottom of the tank, causing constant hot water seepage that can flood the house in the absence of a drain pan or drain beneath the heater.
- Overheating of water and potential tank explosion, resulting in property damage and possible injuries.
- Flushing the tank can remove much of the sediment and prevent such problems.
A plumbing professional can also inspect the tank for other issues that may indicate the end of its useful life.
Bonus TIP: If you plan to replace your hot water heater, consider tankless models that provide constant hot water on demand. This way, you won’t run out of hot water when hosting guests during the holiday season!
For more plumbing tips to prepare your home for holiday parties and guests, contact MET-Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-603-9949 to schedule a plumbing inspection or preventive maintenance services today!