Before we say Happy Holidays, we want to give you a few tips to help your holidays turn out great. With family in town and the kitchen the busiest it ever is, it’s important to keep quite a few things in mind about your home’s water system. This time of year, with extra family members using water and the kitchen in full use, your plumbing system is being used at full max – and you don’t want it to go into overload. Below are a few holiday plumbing tips to help you prepare for the holidays and to keep in mind as the festivities continue:
1. Watch what you put down the drain!
Drain clogs are one of the most common plumbing issues people experience during the holiday season. It’s important to understand what you can and cannot put down the drain. Do not just put any foods down the garbage disposal. Stringy or fibrous foods like poultry skins, celery, corn husks, and onion skins can wrap around the garbage disposal blades and bind it. Starchy foods such as potatoes or rice can swell and clog the drain. Potatoes, especially, can turn into a type of paste and make blades stick. Only put biodegradable foods down the drain, with the exception of stringy or starchy foods. Put all animal bones in trash, and do not pour grease down the sink! Grease accumulates quickly – especially when a lot of cooking is going on – and can clog the drain, as well.
Never turn off the water until your garbage disposal is finished grinding. Let the water run for around 15 seconds to ensure everything is properly flushed. Another tip to keep in mind is to grind all food waste with cold water. Cold water will cause any oil to solidify, so it can be chopped up nicely before it flushes.
One more: never pour coffee grinds into the sink or disposal. Coffee grinds can easily accumulate in your pipes, causing clogs.
2. Bathroom tips
When you have guests, the bathroom and shower will be in use much more than usual. Before guests arrive, cover all shower drains with a drain screen, which helps filter out large clumps of soap or hair. Possibly turn up the water heater (slightly!) to retain hot water. Keep a plunger in every bathroom. When your guests get to your home, give them a few small rules for bathroom and shower use to ensure your plumbing works great and everything goes smoothly during their visit. It’s a good idea to let guests know the following:
- Wait at least ten minutes between showers. This way, slow drains have been given time to work.
- NEVER flush anything down the toilet but toilet paper! This can be a little embarrassing to ask your guests, but it’s an important reminder to help everyone avoid a bathroom disaster. Especially never flush cotton swabs, cotton balls, hair, facial scrub pads, paper towels or baby wipes down the toilet. These things do not dissolve and clog a drain very quickly.
3. Avoiding leaks and overflows
Many times, an overworked plumbing system or plumbing system with a clog or leak somewhere results in a busted pipe or hose. One thing that can help you avoid this is to know where your angle stops are, what they do, and how to keep them working. Angle stops are a shut-off that is under all the sinks in your home. Angle stops need to be exercised, which means you should move the angle stop back and forth a few times a year to ensure it’s not rusted or corroding. If an angle stop won’t move, it’s done. Don’t try to move it. Call a reliable plumber to have it replaced.
If your angle stops are in good condition, know how to work them so that if you do experience a clog or leak, you can turn off the water supply. Turning off the water supply immediately after a leak or bust can save you from a flooding disaster in your home.
Phoenix Clogged Drains
Sometimes, drain clogs can be quickly fixed if you know where the p-trap is under your sink. At the p-trap, you can pull down and release any clogs that are there. Make sure you have a bowl under the p-trap. However, if you do not feel handy enough to attempt this, make sure you call a reliable Phoenix plumber to come take care of the clog for you. In addition, you may not know exactly what caused the clog or where it is. If grease or some kind of paste caused the clog, for example, your drain may need extra work to get unclogged.
Penguin Plumbing is available 24/7, 365 and will come to your home at no extra cost to deal with any plumbing emergency. If you follow the tips above, you should be in good shape, but when an emergency happens, it’s good to have a reliable Phoenix plumbing company on hand to get there fast. And with that, we at Penguin Plumbing wish you a very Happy Holidays!