Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Problems

With so much activity in your home during the holiday season, your plumbing system will be working overtime. And if you’re not careful, an untimely drain clog or backed-up toilet can quickly bring the festivities to a screeching halt.

Between the extra cooking, cleaning and overnight guests, it’s no wonder that plumbing problems are more likely to occur over the holidays than any other time of year. Yet by keeping a few important plumbing tips in mind, you can help ensure that your holiday season is problem free.

Consider these tips to prevent any plumbing mishaps from happening in your home.

Scrape Leftovers in the Trash

When it’s time to clean up, scrape the leftovers off your dishes into the trash, not the drain, especially if you don’t have garbage disposal. One of the easiest ways to prevent unwanted leftovers from going down the drain is to use an inexpensive sink strainer. Once you’re done washing off your dishes, you can simply dump the collected waste in the garbage or compost bin.

Use the Disposal Wisely

There are many food items that can cause serious damage to a garbage disposal and clog the drains. Be sure to avoid putting the following foods down the drain:

  • Fibrous or stringy foods, such as celery or string beans
  • Rice, pasta, or bread-based products
  • Animal bones
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooking oils, grease, and fat

Wait 10-15 Minutes Between Showers

If you’re hosting guests overnight, ask them to space out the time between showers to about 10 or 15 minutes. This not only allows your hot water supply to replenish but also gives your drains an opportunity to clear out. Also, use a strainer over the shower drain to catch hair and prevent a clog.

Don’t Treat Toilets Like Trash Pails

Your toilets are probably going to have to work a bit harder than usual over the holidays. Make sure your guests know not to flush bathroom items that commonly clog household toilets, such as:

  • Sanitary napkins
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Wipes (yes, even “flushable” ones)
  • Paper towels
  • Facial pads
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Cigarette butts

Dispose of F.O.G Properly

F.O.G. (fat, oil, grease) is one of the greatest threats to your plumbing. When hot, F.O.G may seem like any other liquid. But once cooled, it quickly congeals and solidifies in your drain, restricting the flow of water and catching other materials until it results in a major clog. Wipe as much F.O.G off pots and pans or pour it into a can that can be tossed into the garbage.

Run the Dishwasher Last

It can be tempting to run the dishwasher while you continue to clean other dishes. However, because the dishwasher and the garbage disposal typically share the same drain, running the disposal or pouring anything into the sink can push that waste back up into the dishwasher’s cleaning cycle. And if your drains become clogged, running the dishwasher could cause the water to back up and flood your kitchen.

Be Proactive

Avoid plumbing mishaps by scheduling a plumbing system inspection with Best Choice Plumbers. We’ll make sure your drains, toilets, water heater, and other parts of  your plumbing system are in good working order to help you avoid unexpected repairs. And should something go wrong, we’re standing by to handle your plumbing emergencies so you can get back to enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. Contact us today or anytime you need us.

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