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7 Plumbing Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Problems

The holidays are time for families and friends to come together and enjoy good company, great food, and fun times. There’s nothing jolly about a clogged drain or broken toilet. If you keep a few important plumbing tips in mind, you can prevent your festivities from coming to a screeching halt.

Never put leftovers down the drain.

When you’re cleaning up, resist the urge to rinse off plates with leftovers into your sink. There are many foods that should never go in your disposal, and nothing should go down the drain. Always scrape dishes off in the trash before rinsing them. Also, use an inexpensive screen-style sink strainer to catch any solids. Leftovers belong in the trash, not the kitchen drain (or flushed down the toilet!).

Speaking of the Garbage Disposal – Know the Do’s and Don’ts

Garbage disposals can be a great convenience, but they aren’t the go-to for all waste. There are many items that can cause serious damage to your disposal unit, and clog your drains despite having a disposal.

Never put the following foods down your garbage disposal:

  • Fibrous or stringy foods like celery, and other tough vegetables
  • Pasta, rise, or other bread-based foods that will expand when wet
  • Bones
  • Fat (including draining cookware with fat residue)
  • Eggshells
  • Cooking Oil & Grease
  • Paper, Labels & Plastics

Dispose of Grease Properly

Because it can’t be said enough, when you have hot grease, or other oily residues from cooking, never rinse them down any drain or toilet! Grease and oil congeal when it cools by cold water in your pipes and can solidify to a nasty clog. It will restrict flow which will also catch other debris on it’s way out your drains. Pour grease and oils into a can or tin foil “cup”, let harden, and then toss in the garbage.

Should you buy a drain snake?

Keeping a plumber’s snake, or hand auger as they are also called, can come in handy for an attempt at DIY clog relief should one occur.

Flush ONLY waste and toilet paper.

When you have a house full, your toilet will definitely be working overtime. Tax it more with flushing the wrong things, and you could have a disaster on your hands.

Make sure your guests know never to flush:

  • Cleansing wipes
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Paper towels
  • Cigarette butts

Wait 10 – 15 minutes between showers.

When you host overnight guests, the shower line can get long. To ensure everyone has a nice hot shower, and that your shower drains are working properly, space the time between showers. Not only will this let your hot water supply replenish, but it lets your drains clear out completely. Everyone who showers has a certain amount of hair that inevitably goes down your drains. When you pile on several showers in a row, a clog can easily occur. Also, use a strainer over the shower drain to catch hair before it goes down the drain. It may be gross, but it works!

Wait to Run the Dishwasher

It’s very common for people to run their dishwasher right away during cleanup. However, if you are still rinsing dishes, you might create a mess for yourself. The garbage disposal and dishwasher are commonly on the same drain, so if your dishwasher is running and you run the disposal, waste could easily back up into your dishwasher (yuck!). Also, if your drains are already taxed during a busy cleanup, running the dishwasher at the same time to cause a clog and back up water into your kitchen.

Have a good plumber on speed dial.

The holidays are a good time to know who you will call should a plumbing emergency occur. While many of us are taking time with our families just like you, most professionals have emergency repair numbers. It’s not a bad idea to have a professional check your drains and plumbing to make sure everything is in good working order before you entertain a house full.

Warm Waters is here to help you keep your holidays running smoothly. Give us a call if you encounter any plumbing issues, we’re here to help!

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