Making your home holiday ready generally consists of cleaning and decorating to prepare for visitors. The last thing you need before everyone arrives is a messy plumbing mishap.
Pipes are generally not top of mind when you think about Christmas. Quite frankly, they go unnoticed unless they are causing problems.
The biggest concern with the holiday season is increased traffic and usage of your plumbing system that might reveal issues that are only apparent when more people are taking showers and washing dishes compared to any other month of the year.
Your household plumbing plays a major role in providing comfort for your guests. Use these tips to ensure your plumbing system is ready for the holidays.
Tip #1: Clean Your Drains Before Guests Arrive
Do a quick walk-through of your home to see what drain areas need cleaning. Food residue commonly gets trapped in the bottom of kitchen drains, and hair can gather in bathtub drains.
Plumbing Pro Tip: Drain screens are the best way to prevent unwanted objects from falling down and getting trapped.
Calcium buildup is common around faucets, particularly in homes with hard water. This creates problems with the water flow and can lead to blockage. Several products are available to clear the residue, but vinegar is up for the job too.
Smells can linger deep down in sink drains. Boil water, pour it down the drain then follow it with a vinegar solution or baking soda. Before company arrives, clean your disposal by grinding ice cubes and lemon slices in it. These simple tricks will leave your home smelling clean and refreshing.
Tip #2: Clear Your Clogs
Your sinks, toilets and garbage disposal will no doubt be working overtime with guests present throughout the holiday months. Take preventative measures by being mindful of the amount of waste going through your drains.
When you are cooking, always discard oil and grease in the garbage instead of your sink. You can do so by setting aside your empty jars and cans. Then once the grease or oil is cooled, pour it in them and discard in the garbage. Grease and oil cause long-term damage to your pipes, it never okay to pour it down the drain.
Your garbage disposal will also be working overtime while making holiday meals. It's best to throw big items in the trash and avoid putting bones or hard items down your disposal.
Plumbing pro tip: When your disposal is in use, running water must always be present.
Never turn your disposal on without having water flowing.
Before guests arrive, check the water pressure in your toilets by flushing and monitoring the amount of water and speed of the flow. Keep track of any strange sounds or slow movement when you flush. Keep a plunger close by because there is nothing more embarrassing than being a guest having to hunt down a host for this important bathroom tool.
Also, be sure a trash bin is accessible for your guests to throw away items that can't be flushed such as baby wipes and sanitary napkins.
If your toilets are prone to clogging and your home uses a septic system, your septic tank could be full. It is recommended to get your septic tank pumped every 2-3 years. This prevents sewage back up which can lead to clogging. You might still have time to get the job done before everyone arrives.
Tip #3: Take Precautions During Freezing Temperatures
The holiday season means taking caution to frozen pipes. If temperatures drop considerably or stay below freezing for a long period, there's a risk your pipe system can freeze and cause major damage.
It is best to let your faucets drip with warm water or open the cabinets leading to your pipes so warm air can reach them. Always make sure to disconnect all water hoses and give shelter to any above ground pipes outside.
Tip #4: Examine Your Hot Water Heater
No one wants a cold shower. Before your guests arrive make sure your water heater can handle the extra workload during the next several weeks.
Take note of any leaks or strange sounds coming from the unit. If it has been seven years from the date shown on the tank, it is recommended that a professional plumber does a formal inspection.
The temperature of the hot water can be adjusted to ensure your guests have plenty of hot water for baths and showers, just be careful not to set it too high due to the risk of burns.
*Remember turning up the heat on your water heater could increase your utility bill.
Maintaining healthy habits for your pipes throughout the year will make it easier to prepare for the holidays. Not only will you avoid the hassle of a plumbing emergency when guests are present, but it will make your house more comfortable and inviting with a clean atmosphere.
Follow these tips and call us if you have any problems at 405.237.1414.
We’re open 24/7, which means we’re on standby to ensure your holidays are as sweet as you’d hope.
We realize you have choices when it comes to residential plumbers. At BL3 Plumbing, we want our customers to be well-informed so they can make the right decisions regarding their plumbing or drainage needs.
You can also download our FREE guide outlining our 20 professional tips on preparing your pipes for a cold winter.