A couple laughs in a kitchen while cooking

How to Prevent a Plumbing Disaster During the Holidays

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Picture it: You’re enjoying a nice holiday celebration with your family and closest friends, but as you leave the dinner table and make your way to the bathroom, it sounds like the toilet is overflowing — and sure enough, it is.

This holiday season, in order to fully enjoy your special day, here are some important tips to help prevent a plumbing disaster from happening:

Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems

Pre-Holiday Home Plumbing Inspections

Is the season expected to be busy? Centennial can help ensure your fixtures are ready for extra use with a home plumbing inspection. We can will you avoid any major problems that could arise over the holiday by ensuring your home is functioning efficiently.

Put a Trash Can in Your Bathroom

It may seem as if every residential restroom is already equipped with a trash can, but you’d be surprised at how many do not have one. And when this happens, there’s a chance that guests will flush trash down the toilet — which can lead to a pretty severe clog. Some objects that can cause a clog include, but are not limited to:

  • Paper towels
  • Protective plastic seals (i.e., over the cap of a new bottle of mouthwash)
  • Q-tips
  • “Flushable” wipes

Of course, in addition to a garbage can, you can even make a sign in your bathroom — which can kindly remind guests that they should only flush toilet paper and human waste; nothing else.

Dispose of Cooking Grease in a Tin Can

When you and your loved ones are whipping up a delicious meal in the kitchen, someone may feel inclined to dispose of any oil or cooking grease down your sink drain. Sure, this might seem harmless, but it can actually harm your plumbing. How so?

Simple: When hot, grease will be in liquid form, the minute it comes in contact with cool plumbing pipes, the cooking additive will harden — clinging to the wall of the pipes. Knowing this, if grease is continually poured down the sink, in time, it will begin to buildup in your drain, eventually causing a clog.

In order to prevent this from happening, and to keep your sink drain clear, think about taking an old tin can (or container) and set it aside if you know you’ll have extra cooking oil or grease left over. Once you’re done creating your culinary masterpiece, place the can on the counter (without holding it) and pour the grease in there. This will allow for it to harden, which will make it easier to dispose of it in the trash!

Don’t Allow Guests to Use the Garbage Disposal

While some of your holiday guests might have a garbage disposal in their home, there are some that do not — or do not know what they can/cannot put in there. And, of course, if the wrong item is disposed of, then it can tarnish the blades and wear down the disposal. As a refresher, some of the many items that can never be put in a garbage disposal are:

  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit with a pit
  • Pasta

To eliminate a problem, if you see a “guest chef” that is looking to use the device, offer to dispose of whatever they might want to get rid of for them. This way, if something doesn’t belong in there, you’ll be able to dispose of it in a trash can. And in the event that you might not be around the kitchen, it may be wise to put a piece of tape over the disposal’s switch, to deter guests from using it when you’re not in sight.

How Do I Unclog a Toilet?

Clogging someone else's toilet triggers the same response in us as clogging our own. An obstructed toilet can be embarrassing and messy, whether you are the host or guest.

You can unclog your toilet by following these tips:

  1. Flushing again isn't a good idea! Lift the lid off the tank and make sure the flapper is fully closed if the water continues to rise. Move on to step two once the water has stopped flowing.
  2. Adding some warm, soapy water to the toilet bowl can help break up the clog if you have some room in the bowl. Wait a few minutes. Do not do this step if the bowl is overflowing.
  3. Plunge the bowl. To create a more flexible seal, run hot water over the rubber end of the plunger.
  4. Plunge carefully. Don't force it. Carefully apply the rubber end to the toilet bowl. Be sure to fully submerge it. In case of insufficient water, add some soapy water before you begin plunging. By plunging, the clog is cleared by the force of water.
  5. Start pulling the plunger up and down a few times once it is fully submerged.
  6. An auger may be necessary when the clog is severe.
  7. Call Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical

Have Lingering Plumbing Problems Fixed Ahead of Time

Whether it’s a leaking faucet or a toilet that continues to run after each use, now is the perfect time to have those plumbing problems fixed before disaster has the chance to strike.

After all, you wouldn’t want one of your guests to use a fixture and feel as if they’re the one that broke it! By taking early action, you’ll also be saving yourself from a much more expensive repair down the line.

Our Team Can Tackle Any Plumbing Problem You Encounter!

Give us a call at (306) 500-7392 to schedule your plumbing service today! At Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, we have been providing exemplary service in Saskatoon since 1967.