The holiday season is a time for celebration. It is a wonderful time of the season for friends and family to come together for special meals and fun. In the spirit of this most joyous of occasions and merriment with family, there are a lot of activities that involve plumbing. From preparing meals to cleaning up afterward, an untimely holiday plumbing issue can put a damper on the festivities due to increased demand for the system.
Plumbers can be booked far in advance-even during peak holiday seasons, and the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a plumbing emergency. To ensure a hiccup-free holiday season, it is always best to be prepared and follow some basic plumbing tips that can save you time and money and ensure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are a few tips to avoid holiday plumbing problems this festive season:
1. Be mindful of what goes down the drain.
During clean-up, ensuring that any food scraps, grease, and oils are not poured down the drain goes a long way in avoiding clogs and slow drains. Grease is particularly a great threat to pipes; it can solidify in the drains when it comes into contact with cold water, clogging your pipes.
To avoid this, use sink strainers to capture food particles and properly dispose of the solid waste. You may also let oil and grease congeal in a container before disposing of it in the trash.
2. Know what not to flush.
Toilets are for waste and toilet paper only. This includes avoiding flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste. When hosting holiday parties, your bathrooms will likely have more people using them than they normally would. Since not everyone will be as considerate of your plumbing system as you are, ensure your guest are aware of items that they should not flush down the toilets. They include:
- Baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Cigarette butts
- Cotton swabs
- Paper towels
To avoid problems, keep a waste bin handy in every bathroom for non-flushable items and have a family member or guest remind people to use it.
3. Prevent frozen pipes in cold climates.
In cold climates, the temps can drop suddenly, causing your pipes to freeze and burst. To avoid this costly repair, have your home inspected for any visible cracks or openings in the outside walls of your home.
Check for exposed pipes and wrap them in insulation to keep them from freezing. Insulating your pipes with foam insulation will protect them from the cold and help save energy. Ensure any exposed pipes, such as your water supply line in the garage, basement, or crawl spaces, are properly insulated.
At Danika, we understand plumbing issues can be stressful, especially during the holiday season. Our expert technicians are available all year round to provide you with expert plumbing services so that you can rest assured knowing your holiday will be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
4. Keeping kitchen traffic to a minimum.
The kitchen is the centerpiece of any holiday celebration. With all the hustle and bustle that comes with preparing a large meal, your drains may be put under more pressure than usual. To reduce strain on your plumbing system, keeping the traffic to a minimum is a good idea.
It becomes easier to be mindful of what has been put down the drain when fewer people are in the kitchen. Additionally, with a centralized area, it’s easier to capture and dispose of food waste appropriately.
5. Avoid putting pressure on your water heater.
Your water heater works around the clock to provide you with hot water. During the holidays, when more people are in your home, and everyone is trying to get ready for the festivities, your water heater will be under more pressure than usual.
To reduce this pressure and keep it from failing, ensure everyone is mindful of not taking long showers and if necessary, consider turning the thermostat down a few degrees. You can also advise your guest to wait 10-15 minutes after someone else is done showering to replenish the hot water supply system and allow the drains to clear.
6. Don’t overtax the disposal.
Garbage disposals are a great tool to quickly eliminate food waste, but too much reliance on them can cause serious clogs. They are designed to handle smaller items, not large holiday dinners. Too much food in the disposal can cause a clog and strain the unit.
To avoid this, scrape any excess food off dishes and into the compost can before washing them. The dishwasher and garbage disposal share the same plumbing system; when the disposal is overused, it can also cause a clog in your dishwasher. To avoid this, save large food scraps for the compost and use your garbage disposal sparingly. Additionally, running cold water while using the disposal helps keep the blades from getting clogged.
To limit use, you can advise your guest not to put fibrous items such as celery, potato peels, banana peels, and other tough-to-grind items down the drain.
7. Use cloth hand towels rather than disposable ones.
During any holiday gathering, your guests will be washing their hands frequently. While paper towels may seem convenient since they are disposable and readily available, they are not kind to your plumbing system because they don’t break down easily when flushed. Instead of opting for disposable towels, use cloth ones, as they are much better for your pipes.
8. Be Proactive with Professionals
Above all, your best bet for avoiding plumbing problems is to contact a professional plumber to inspect your home before the holidays. A professional inspection will alert you to any red flags ahead of time and provide solutions to ensure your plumbing system is in top shape for the festivities. In addition, they can offer helpful tips to ensure your plumbing system continues to run smoothly all season long.
If you need your plumbing system checked or repaired prior to holiday celebrations, Danika Plumbing LLC is the go-to plumbing service in the Seattle area. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians are available to quickly diagnose any problems you may be having and provide solutions. Contact us today to schedule a service call or for more holiday plumbing tips!