7 Ways to Prevent Plumbing Problems This Holiday Season
The holidays are a busy time of year for families. The last thing you want to worry about is a plumbing problem between cooking, cleaning, and entertaining guests. But unfortunately, plumbing problems don't take a break for the holidays. In fact, many plumbing problems are actually caused by holiday activities.
Here are ways to prevent some of the most common plumbing problems this holiday season.
1. Prevent Drain and Toilet Clogs
A clogged toilet or drain is one of the most common holiday plumbing problems. Toilets can become clogged when too much toilet paper is used or when non-flushable items are flushed down the toilet.
Drains can become clogged when grease and food are poured down them. Grease will solidify in the drain and trap food particles, causing a clog. To prevent toilet and drain clogs this holiday season, use only as much toilet paper as you need and dispose of grease and food properly in the garbage, not the sink.
2. Don't Run Out of Hot Water
Another common plumbing problem during the holidays is running out of hot water. This is usually caused by having too many people showering one after the other or by using the dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously. To prevent this problem, stagger showers so that there are at least 20 to 30 minutes in between each one, and avoid using hot water-using appliances at the same time.
3. Avoid Broken Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal is one appliance that gets a workout during the holidays. Between all the cooking and cleaning, a lot of food waste must be disposed of. To prevent your garbage disposal from breaking down, avoid putting hard-to-grind items like bones or fruit pits down it. Also, run cold water through the disposal while it's in use to keep things moving smoothly.
4. Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are another common plumbing problem during the winter months. It’s a known fact that when water freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to burst. To prevent your pipes from freezing, insulate them with pipe insulation or heat tape. You should also let faucets drip slightly during freezing weather to keep water moving through the pipes and prevent them from freezing solid. Another precaution you can take is leaving cabinets open to allow warm air inside your home to keep pipes from freezing.
5. Keep an Eye on Water Pressure
Water pressure that's too high or too low can cause all sorts of problems in your home, from leaky faucets to broken appliances. During the holiday season, when there's an influx of people in your home using water-using appliances, keep an eye on your water pressure gauge to ensure it stays within a normal range (between 40 and 60 psi). If it starts to creep up or down outside of that range, you may have a bigger problem on your hands that requires professional help.
6. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is
If a plumbing problem does occur this holiday season, you should know where your main water shutoff valve is so you can quickly turn off the water to your entire home if necessary. This will help minimize any damage that may occur while you're waiting for a plumber to arrive on the scene. The main water shutoff valve is usually located near where your water meter or main water line enters your home (often in the basement). If you don't know where yours is or it doesn't seem to be working correctly, have a professional come out and look before an emergency arises.
7. Don't Pour Chemicals Down Your Drains
Last but not least, don't pour chemicals down your drains in an attempt to unclog them yourself—this could do more harm than good! Pouring caustic chemicals down your drains can damage your pipes and even cause burns if they come into contact with your skin (not to mention they're bad for the environment). If you have a clogged drain this holiday season (or any time), call a professional plumber who can safely clear it out for you without damaging your pipes or putting anyone in danger.