Preventing Common Plumbing Problems
The holidays are the busiest time of the year with families gathering and friends visiting in larger numbers than normal. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s call for celebrations that include lots of food, decorations, more being disposed of in garbage disposals, toilets, and hair clogging in showers and bathtubs.
While your friends and family mean well, the extra amount of people can cause stress on your plumbing system. Here’s how you can prevent common plumbing problems that occur over the holidays.
One of the first things to go during your family’s visit will be your toilet. Using the toilet is an essential part of everyday life and the more people who use your toilets, the higher your chances of getting a clog will be. Toilets can be clogged by small objects like toys and hair accessories and can be blocked by excessive amounts of toilet paper or sanitary napkins.
To avoid these kinds of problems, inform your family and friends that only a necessary amount of toilet paper should be used, along with not flushing sanitary napkins and other small objects. Keep a plunger and wastebasket next to your toilet so that guests can easily dispose of their items without your toilet paying the price.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
The holidays are one of the most popular times to cook large quantities of food that produce grease and contain ingredients that can damage your garbage disposal and clog your pipes. While you may be cooking delicious meals that your family won’t forget, it’s important to remember a few things that don’t belong in the garbage disposal like:
Vegetables with strings
Make sure your family is also aware of things that shouldn’t go down the disposal and drain to avoid damaging it. If your garbage disposal does become blocked, you can unblock it by hitting the switch to release it. If that doesn’t work, contact your local plumber to fix it for you and inspect if there is a deeper issue.
Water Heater Failure
If there will be more people visiting your home than usual, the extra demand for hot water can put a strain on your water heater and hot water supply. At some point, your hot water heater can potentially run out of hot water and fail to heat effectively. If this happens, contact your plumber to take a look at your water heater settings and determine if it should be repaired or replaced.
Clogged Dishwasher Drain
With more people comes more dishes and the higher demand to use your dishwasher, especially if you usually choose to hand wash your dishes. Dishwasher drains can become clogged if food isn’t completely removed from your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher and turning it on. Simply check to make sure all of the dishes are free of large particles that can clog your drain before using the dishwasher.
If your shower is being used by yourself or more people, you should always be aware of potential blockages in your shower drains from hair and soaps. Standing in clogged water can be a potential health hazard, so you want to make sure all of the water can quickly drain down your pipes. If your family is using your shower, it can become clogged by overuse and put a strain on your water heater.
To avoid this, try suggesting to your guests that everyone waits at least 20 minutes in between showers so that your water heater and drains can keep up with demand. Also, invest in drain covers to catch hair and other unwanted items from being washed down the drain and blocking your pipes.