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7 holiday plumbing tips for happy pipes and drains
16 Dec

7 Holiday Plumbing Tips for Happy Pipes and Drains

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The holidays are a time for celebration. It’s when we set a few days aside to gather with loved ones, enjoy good food, and participate in long-held traditions.

Giving gifts and baking cookies are two beloved Christmas activities. Dealing with an unexpectedly clogged kitchen sink? Less beloved.

Your home’s plumbing system works overtime during the holidays. As a result, it’s crucial to take steps to keep your pipes and drains happy and functioning. Otherwise, your family’s holiday tradition may be calling your plumber in a panic.

With that in mind, here are seven tips to keep your plumbing system in prime shape this holiday season.

1. Do not wash leftovers down the drain

There is no better time to ask for seconds (or thirds) than during the holidays. After all, this is the time to indulge and heap your plate with delicious festive dishes.

Unfortunately, our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. Your teenage nephew may lick his plate clean, but many of your relatives will struggle to get to the bottom of the mountain of food before them. This means lots of leftovers and food scraps.

Consequently, cleaning up after Christmas dinner is nearly as intensive of a process as preparing the meal in the first place.

As you stand before a mountain of dirty dishes, you may be tempted to do anything to speed up the process, such as washing all the leftovers and food scraps down the drain. This, however, is a terrible idea.

Food scraps belong in your organic waste bin, compost pile, or in the trash, not in the sink. These leftovers will clog your pipes and create a holiday disaster. Sticky and starchy foods are particularly problematic. Additionally, fats, oil, and grease excel at creating blockages within your plumbing system.

2. Know what goes into the garbage disposal (and what doesn’t)

Your garbage disposal may seem invincible, but we assure you, it is not. Nor is it a magical device that can eliminate anything. Many materials can severely damage disposals. For example:

  • Animal bones
  • Animal fat
  • Eggshells
  • Cooking oils and grease
  • Fibrous and stringy foods
  • Rice, pasta, and bread that expands with moisture
  • Paper, metal, or plastic

Even if your garbage disposal manages to chew up these tricky forms of debris, you’re not out of the woods yet. You may end up with a clog that seriously cramps your celebrations.

3. Properly dispose of grease

Never pour cooking grease, leftover fats, and oil down the drain. When hot, these substances look like benign liquids. There shouldn’t be any problem with dumping them in the sink, right? Wrong.

These liquids quickly congeal as they cool (or when they come into contact with cold water). They solidify in the pipes, thus restricting flow and developing into hardened, horrifying, and substantial clogs. When this happens, you need to call your plumber.

You can avoid this whole catastrophe by simply wiping grease, oil, and fat residue from greasy cookware before it goes in the sink. Furthermore, pour all cooled liquids into a metal can that can then be thrown away safely.

4. Don’t use the garbage disposal and dishwasher at the same time

Running your dishwasher and garbage disposal at the same time may seem like peak efficiency. However, it’s actually a disgusting mess waiting to happen.

Dishwashers and disposals use the same drain. Anything that goes down the sink and through your disposal can end up being pushed back into the dishwasher during the cleaning cycle. Your dishes will end up being dirtier than they were at the start!

Simultaneous dishwasher and disposal use can also result in a clog that causes your dishwasher to flood your kitchen. Waiting may seem like an inconvenience at the time; however, it’s far better than the alternative.

5. Keep an eye on your relatives

You’re an expert on what to do and what not to do to protect your pipes during the holidays (or, at least, you will be by the time you finish this article). That’s great! But are all your relatives as informed?

If you enlist the help of family members during the post-dinner clean-up, make sure they know the rules. You don’t want a well-meaning cousin to unleash an assault on your plumbing system while your back is turned.

Remember, leftovers in the green bin, no organic waste in the garbage disposal, and no grease down the drain!

6. Be careful what goes down your toilet

Toilets are only meant to deal with certain types of waste. Feminine hygiene products, cleaning wipes, facial pads, paper towels, and cotton swabs are not included in this list.

Your toilet is already working harder than usual. The last thing anyone needs is a clog caused by any of these items.

7. Book a drain inspection before the holidays

Are your drains as ready for the holiday season as you?

The best way to avoid a plumbing crisis is to be proactive. Schedule plumbing maintenance before the holiday rush, make any necessary drain repairs, and have your plumber perform a full drain inspection.

During a drain inspection, your plumber checks for blockages, broken lines, signs of sewer backup, and any other red flags. Your plumbing system works the hardest during the holidays, so small issues can easily turn into big problems. It’s best to deal with them immediately.

Taking these steps ensures that your pipes are prepared long before the turkey goes into the oven and guests begin to arrive. That’s why Advanced Plumbing is here to help. We offer a range of services including preventative maintenance and drain repair.

If you need help with drain repair, contact Advanced Plumbing. To book an appointment, call us today at 866-863-9539 or contact us here.


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