How to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Holidays

  • How to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Holidays

    unclogging sinkThe holidays are a time when many people are hosting more parties and having more guests over to stay. If you happen to be hosting friends or loved ones for the holidays, you’ll definitely want to make sure your home’s plumbing system is running as smoothly as possible. Here is a list of plumbing tasks you should take care of before guests arrive at your home.

    Unclog your drains.

    How are the sink and tub drains in your home? Have you noticed any that are draining more slowly than usual? If so, unclogging these drains should be one of your top priorities in home maintenance before guests arrive. There are a number of ways to address clogged drains. First, when the sink or tub is fully drained, you can try pouring about ½ cup of baking soda followed by ½ cup of white vinegar down the drain. Put a drain stopper over the drain to force the solution down the drain, and then wait about five minutes for the solution to work on the clog. If that doesn’t cut it, follow up with about four cups of very hot (but not boiling) water. Then, if necessary, follow up with a small plunger, filling the sink or tub with some warm water and then plunging vigorously to dislodge the clog. (In the case of a double sink, stuff a rag down the other drain before plunging.) Finally, if none of these steps fully address the clog, you can try taking a cable auger to your drain. Ultimately, if you are having difficulty unclogging any sink or tub drains in your home, it is best to call a professional plumber who is experienced at removing even the toughest clogs without damaging pipes.

    Unclog the toilet.

    How about your toilet drains? If any toilets are clogged in your home, be sure to take care of those as well. Start with a plunger, as a plunger will solve about 90 percent of clogged toilet problems. If that doesn’t work, try using a drain snake such as a closet auger, feeding it down the drain until it reaches the clog and then turning it clockwise to break up the clog. (Debris may accumulate on the end of the snake, effectively letting you pull the clog out of your drain.) Again, if you feel that you don’t have the expertise to unclog the toilet drain yourself, be sure to call an expert.

    As a side note, even if no toilets are clogged in your home, now is the time to buy a plunger if you don’t have one! You never know when an emergency may arise in the coming weeks.

    Take a look at the garbage disposal.

    You may very well be preparing more food in your home during the holiday season, so you want to make sure your garbage disposal is working as efficiently as possible. In case your garbage disposal just needs a minor cleaning, our blog post here has some great tips on cleaning your garbage disposal. For a more serious clog, you may need to turn off your garbage disposal and push the bottom end of a wooden probe against the impeller, rocking it back and forth to free it. Because kitchen garbage disposals can be complicated, this is something you may want to leave to your plumber.

    This blog post has some great advice on best practices when using a kitchen garbage disposal.

    Prevent frozen pipes.

    You read our post last month about preventing frozen pipes, correct? If not, you can read it here. It has all the info you need about prevent frozen pipes over the coming months.

    These aren’t the only things that can cause you problems over the holidays, but they are definitely a great start. In addition to these tasks, it’s also a good idea to clean your water fixtures, clean the water heater, and increase the heat output of your water heater.

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