Preparing Your Plumbing For the Holidays

Getting Your Home Ready

As the festive season approaches, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a plumbing emergency. Commonly, this time of year tends to see a spike in emergency service calls related to clogged sewer and drain lines. To ensure your celebrations go off without a hitch and you don’t have to frantically call a plumber amid holiday festivities, let’s take a more detailed look at the preparations you can consider before those holiday activities begin.

1. Check Your Water Supply

When you’re facing issues with water pressure throughout your entire house, it’s essential to investigate the root cause. Even if you are not aware that you may have water pressure issues, this is a good place to start checking.

Municipal water supply problems can be a common culprit. If you notice a decline in water pressure, particularly impacting the entire household, reaching out to your water supplier is the first step. They can provide valuable insights and assistance in identifying and addressing potential problems with the municipal water supply.

If the water supply is not the issue and you are not able to figure out the root of the issue, this would be a good time to check in with your plumbing professional to take those next steps to get you ready for the holidays.

2. Detect Main Line Leaks

Another potential source of water pressure issues is a leak in your main water line. There may be a leak elsewhere in the home. Conducting a simple test can help rule out this possibility.

Start by shutting off all water valves in your house, take note of the water meter reading, and compare it after a few hours. If there’s a significant difference between the initial and final readings, it can be an indication of a leak.

In this case, seeking prompt professional plumbing assistance is crucial to prevent further damage and costly repairs.

Fixing Specific Areas

Now, let’s delve into specific areas where you might encounter plumbing issues during the holiday season and explore a few comprehensive troubleshooting steps.

1. Clear Slow Drains

Slow drains are not only frustrating but can escalate into a major plumbing headache. With having friends and family visiting throughout the season a little more than usual, it’s good to make sure the drains in sinks and baths are flowing well.

Instead of resorting to harsh chemical cleaners, consider eco-friendly alternatives. An inexpensive way is a combination of white vinegar and baking soda that can work wonders in breaking down clogs without causing harm to your pipes.

Another option is using enzyme-based drain cleaners that you can find at most supermarkets and home improvement stores, which are effective and environmentally friendly.

In bathrooms, slow drains are often caused by the accumulation of hair and soap residue. To address this, remove drain covers and give them a thorough cleaning. While organic drain cleaners can be helpful in many cases, persistent problems may need the expertise of a professional plumber.

2. Garbage Disposal Care

With holiday feasts on the horizon, ensuring your garbage disposal is in top condition is paramount. A few things you can do are:

Deep Cleaning: Before you embark on your culinary endeavors, perform a deep cleaning on your garbage disposal. Pouring white vinegar down the drain and flushing it with hot water helps eliminate built-up grime. Installing a new drain strainer can also act as a preventive measure against potential clogs during periods of heavy usage.

Regular Maintenance: Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh by incorporating a simple routine. There are disposal cleaners of various methods to keep it clean, some are store-bought and some are as simple as tossing half a lemon into the disposal to eliminate odors.

Tip 1: Additionally, running hot water for at least 15 seconds after each use ensures any remaining debris is flushed away, reducing the likelihood of clogs.

Tip 2: If there is an ongoing problem that you cannot fix, please give your plumber a call and see how they can help and perform a deeper maintenance check.

3. Be Mindful of What You Put in the Disposal

Preventing potential clogs in your garbage disposal involves being discerning about what goes into it. Items such as bones, rice, pasta, cooking grease, and clumpy materials should be disposed of through alternative means. This small but crucial step in mindfulness can save you from unnecessary plumbing headaches during the holiday season.

Taking Care of Toilets and Guest Bathrooms

As we shift our focus to the often-overlooked yet crucial area of toilets and guest bathrooms, let’s explore additional tips to ensure they function seamlessly during holiday gatherings.

1. Toilet Maintenance

Toilets are a common source of plumbing issues, especially when hosting guests. A household of four can quickly become a household use of many and in more frequency which your plumbing system may not be prepared for.

Here are some proactive measures to take before the festivities:
Flush Check: Inspect and test all toilets in your home to ensure they are flushing properly. Using single-ply toilet paper in guest areas can minimize the risk of plumbing issues arising from excessive use.

Provide Alternatives: A simple yet effective measure is to place a trash can in each bathroom. This encourages guests to dispose of items that shouldn’t be flushed, such as paper towels, preventing potential plumbing havoc.

2. Wrapping Up the Season Without Plumbing Surprises

The holiday season is synonymous with joy and celebration, not unexpected plumbing emergencies. By diligently following these detailed yet practical tips, you can safeguard your home against potential plumbing issues and fully enjoy a stress-free festive season with your family and friends.

Remember, if despite your efforts, plumbing challenges arise, don’t hesitate to reach out to Plumbing Doctor®, we are here to help address and resolve any issues, allowing you to get back to the enjoyment of the season without worry.