The holidays are some of the busiest times for plumbers. Families spend more time preparing bigger meals, which often means your sink or disposal has to work on overdrive. Families are also inviting extra guests, which means a significant increase in water consumption. And with all the extra flushing, showers, and laundry — there’s a higher chance of plumbing issues.
This doesn’t mean you have to limit your festivities, though! Here are some tips from Mr. Plumber for preventing a holiday plumbing emergency:
It might be tempting to throw just anything down your garbage disposal during these busy times, but there are some foods you should avoid. These include:
- Grease and oil – Turkey grease solidify in your garbage disposal, preventing it from going down the drain. In time, the grease will begin to rot and smell.
- Instead: Use a jar to collect the grease or collect the oil with paper towels.
- Starchy foods – Rice, pasta, potatoes all expand with water and create a glue-like consistency that can cause clogs.
- Peels – Stringy veggie peels can wrap around the garbage disposal blades, causing them to jam.
- Instead: Use a newspaper to cover the disposal and peel your veggies and starches on top of it.
- Harsh chemicals – chemicals like drain cleaners can damage garbage disposal blades and parts.
- Instead: sprinkle in half a cup of baking soda and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes each. Let warm run for another 5 minutes. If this doesn’t clear the clog, do not attempt to clear the clog with your hands! Give us a call to assess the severity of the clog.
- Bones or fruit rinds — disposal blades are not as strong as you might think. If you attempt to use the disposal for these items, the blades will break, which can cause the disposer to fail altogether.
- Instead: use a disposal plug/guard to catch these items from falling into your disposal.
A few things you can use with your disposal include:
- Cold water – Run cold water for 30 seconds before, during, and after grinding. This helps the blades chop the food easily and run down the drain.
- Citrus peels – Citrus peels can help freshen the smell of the disposal.
- Dish soap – In small quantities, dish soap and cold water help to clean the internal components of the disposer.
- Ice cubes – Throwing a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal can help to break up food particles.
- The Bathroom
Keep A Wastebasket
The best way to avoid toilet clogs is to simply not force it to flush more than it needs to. Equip your bathroom with a wastebasket so that guests don’t resort to flushing too much toilet paper.
Inform Guests About Low-Flow Toilet
If your home uses low-flow toilets, it can be a shock for someone that isn’t used to them. Oftentimes people will try to flush more than necessary or will add too much toilet paper unknowingly. Make sure all your guests are aware beforehand that there’s no need to flush more than once, and to use the wastebasket to throw away trash
Keep A Plunger Nearby
Clogs still happen, despite our efforts, but the worst thing you can do is to not address it the moment it does. Keep a plunger near your toilet so that whoever caused the clog can attempt to clear it on their own.
The Water Heater
As mentioned, having many guests over means your household will be consuming a lot more hot water. If your home has an older water heating system, the extra stress can put it at risk of experiencing leaks or even flooding. The best way to prevent this is by scheduling regular plumbing maintenance with Mr. Plumber. We will be able to tell you if your water heater can handle extra usage during the holidays. That way, you won’t be caught by surprise by any hidden issues!
Mr. Plumber ensures we have plenty of qualified, licensed technicians available to assist you with any plumbing issues you may encounter this holiday season. Whether it be disposal clogs, toilet clogs, or water heater issues, all of us at Mr. Plumber is are ready to help! Contact us today for all your plumbing needs.