The holidays are a time for family, friends and plumbing emergencies. Parties, family gatherings, and guests put a serious strain on a home’s plumbing system which results in emergency calls to plumbers. Large holiday meals require a busy kitchen, and all of the grease and food find its way into the kitchen drain or disposal. Clogged drains are the most common holiday problem homeowners have with their plumbing. Your guests will be taking showers and baths as well as lots of extra toilet flushing. It all adds up to a potential plumbing disaster.
In your kitchen:
- Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain. Liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs. Wipe congealed grease from your pots.
- Do not put stringy, fibrous waste into the disposal. (poultry skins, carrots, celery, pumpkin pulp, egg shells (the membrane in the shell are stringy and can wrap around the shredder ring. The shells clogs pipes when ground up), seeds, rice or pasta (these expand and clog the disposal trap),coffee grinds, corn husks, banana and potato peels. The disposal can’t sufficiently grind these and they will clog your sink drain. To get rid of unpleasant odors run citrus peels through the disposal with cold water. Or best bet – pretend the garbage disposal does not even exist and dispose of any solid food waste in the garbage or the compost.
- Run the cold water for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal to flush waste down the drain. Turn on the disposal before adding food scraps.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or at off times to conserve hot water and maintain adequate water pressure.
- Run some hot water down your sink drain before starting your dishwasher. This starts the washer at a higher water temperature and you’ll get cleaner dishes. The perfect temperature is 120º.
In the bath:
- Spread showers throughout the day; wait 10 minutes between showers.
- Turn the water heater up slightly to retain hot water. Do not exceed 125º
- Using to much toilet paper is asking for trouble. The faster your toilet paper dissolves, the better it is for your plumbing. Thin toilet paper dissolves faster than thicker paper. Flushable wipes aren’t so flushable! These little sheets end up clinging to each other and forming large balls of material that won’t dissolve. They are a sewer line’s worst nightmare. Don’t flush cotton balls, facial scrub pads, cotton swabs, sanitary napkins or even facial tissue. Not only do these not dissolve but some expand in water.