15 Dec Holiday Plumbing Preparation
Holiday Plumbing Preparation
The holidays are probably the busiest time of the year for many homes. Between all of the parties and family gatherings, some homes can see a huge increase in activity during the festive season. And, all of those visitors will be putting an extra drain on the home’s plumbing system. Here are some things that can be done to make sure that there aren’t any unexpected holiday plumbing issues to deal with.
A Thorough Inspection
Whether it’s done by the homeowner or a professional, a thorough walk-thru of the home should be done looking for any plumbing leaks or other problems that could lead to any holiday plumbing issues. Pipes in basements and crawl spaces may have developed problems without being noticed which could lead to expensive repairs if not addressed. Or, condensation may be noticed on pipes or around their fittings indicating a moisture problem that would need to be fixed. A good walk-thru will alert you to any issues with your plumbing that could get in the way of your holiday celebrations.
Taking care of any slow drains is a good holiday plumbing tip for preparing them for all of the extra people that will be using them. If a certain drain clogs repeatedly, there may be a larger clog deeper in the pipe that a plumber will need to clear. Since the showers and bathtubs may be used more often during the holidays, there should also be hair traps in every shower preventing all of that extra hair from clogging the drain possibly creating a holiday plumbing disaster. Drains can also be cleaned with vinegar and a soft bristled brush to get rid of any lime and calcium buildup which can cause corrosion.
Toilets are definitely something that need to be working without any issues to avoid a holiday plumbing nightmare. The last thing anyone wants to deal with during a holiday gathering is a backed-up toilet or one that doesn’t work.
- If a toilet is flushing slowly or gurgling, it may have a clog developing somewhere in the water line. If it can’t be cleared with a plunger or a drain cleaner, a professional plumber may be needed to clear the pipe.
- Something as simple as a handle that needs to be jiggled can turn into a much bigger problem at the worst time. Small issues should be taken care of while they’re still minor. It’s much more cost-effective to replace a handle than the entire tank.
- Water could also be slowly leaking from the base of the toilet where it meets the floor. While it’s not a pretty job, it’s a simple fix either a homeowner or a plumber can take care of. If it’s not repaired quickly, the leak could get worse and cause water damage or, even worse, the failure of the tank to hold water making the toilet unusable.
Faucets and Shower Heads
Over time, lime and other caustic substances will build up around the insides of faucets causing a decrease in water pressure. The lack of water pressure is actually building pressure inside the pipes putting more of a strain on them which could cause a leak leading to a holiday plumbing disaster if it happens while entertaining. Vinegar and an old toothbrush will usually get rid of any buildup on faucets and shower heads. If the buildup has been neglected for too long, a plumber can give you the best advice for either repairing or replacing any faucets.
Prior to any extra holiday traffic is a good time to have a water heater serviced. Usually done on a yearly basis, a plumber will inspect all of the internal parts as well as making sure that the tank isn’t starting to show signs of wear. Over time, sediment will build up in the tank taking up the space needed for the hot water and possibly corroding the water lines. The tank can be drained to get rid of the sediment allowing the water heater to operate more efficiently as well as having more hot water available for all of the extra holiday use.
Garbage disposals aren’t meant to be used as trash cans. Too much food waste can cause problems clogging pipes, especially in homes with septic tanks. With all of the extra cooking in preparation of the holidays, the garbage disposal will be working harder. Foods like grease, fruit rinds, or large chunks of food shouldn’t go through the garbage disposal and it should always be ran with plenty of cold water running. Letting the water run for a few seconds after turning off the disposal will help push the food through your pipes.
Especially if they are close to exterior walls, pipes can freeze during the winter with extremely cold weather. Most are homes are built with this in mind. However, over time, insulation can sometimes lose its effectiveness leaving some pipes vulnerable to freezing. A plumber can add insulation to any pipes in danger of freezing to avoid any undue holiday plumbing stress.
Thin Toilet Paper
The most common cause of a clogged toilet is too much toilet paper being used. While homeowners are cognizant as to how much toilet paper their plumbing can handle, guests may not be quite as conscious about how much toilet paper that they are using. Buying high-quality thin toilet paper for all of the bathrooms will reduce the chances of the toilet getting clogged.
Another great holiday plumbing tip is to make sure that there are plenty of waste baskets in the bathrooms. Holiday guests are more likely to flush something in the toilet that should be thrown in the garbage. Making sure that trash cans are both available and emptied often is a good way to reduce the chances of getting any clogs in the toilet when there are visitors.