As you and your family begin to get your home ready for the holidays, the last thing on your mind is your plumbing. Yet, just about every plumbing company sees a significant upturn in emergency service calls during the holiday season, usually for clogged sewer and drain lines.
To properly get your hands around preventing possible holiday season plumbing blunders, follow this hi-tech and interactive checklist. Seriously though, here are a few pointers that will keep the plumbers out of your house until the new year.
Clear Slow Kitchen and Bathroom Sink Drains
Slow kitchen and bathroom drains need to be treated with either a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda or a biologic, enzyme-based drain cleaner like BioOne®. Do not use chemical-based drain cleaners for any type of clog. These acid-based products may be extremely useful in the short-term, but the damage and injury they can cause outweighs their usefulness.
Clear Bathtub and Shower Drains
Run the showerhead or bathtub faucet in your bathrooms for a few minutes, and pay attention to how long it takes for each to drain. Slow drains in bathroom fixtures are almost always caused by a build-up of hair, soap and shampoo residue, toothpaste, and the other by-products of our daily cleansing rituals. Prevent or remove clogs by removing the drain cover from your bathtub, shower, and bathroom sink, and using a straightened coat hanger for fishing out any visible debris.
Slow drains are a nuisance and are almost always a sign that your drainpipes need attention. Using a plunger in a slow running drain may be enough to dislodge the clog and solve the problem for now, but you may want to investigate using an organic drain cleaner to help clear your pipes.
Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Give your garbage disposal a good cleaning before preparing your holiday meals. Pour one cup of white vinegar into your drain, allow it to sit for ten to fifteen minutes, then completely flush with hot water for an additional minute or so. This process will eliminate built-up grease and other debris that has found its way into your garbage disposal and leaves you less susceptible to clogs this holiday season. Installing a new drain strainer in your kitchen sink is an inexpensive way to help prevent clogs over the busy holiday season, too.
Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh by tossing half a lemon into it every week or two, and always run the hot water for at least 15-seconds after using the disposal.
Be Aware of Everything You Put in The Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal may be the most important guest at your family meal. Feed it too much of the wrong thing, and there’s a chance of making it sick. Using a little common sense when it comes to the garbage disposal this holiday season can keep your drains flowing freely in the kitchen. Don’t put any kind of bones into the garbage disposal, or rice, or pasta, or cooking grease…or anything that seems clumpy and clog-worthy.
Don’t Flush Too Much
Give all the toilets in your home a flush check, especially in bathrooms reserved for guests. Toilets that aren’t flushing thoroughly need to be checked for proper water supply, clogs, or flange leaks. The best thing to do to prepare your toilets for the holiday season is to buy single-ply toilet paper for the guest areas. Also, don’t forget to place a garbage can in each bathroom for paper towels and other “un-flushable” things that can wreak havoc on your plumbing. You’ll thank me later.
This time of year is best spent enjoying the company of family and friends. No one wants to invite the plumber over for Christmas dinner. Following these few simple tips can help prevent a holiday plumbing emergency and ensure no one will put coal in your stocking because of a cold shower.