As the holidays approach, your thoughts are probably focused on gift giving, great food and spending time with those that you care about and love. The last thing that crosses your mind is the effects of the holidays on your plumbing system. With the increased demands on your home’s plumbing system, though, you could be in for a very unpleasant time and have to deal with clogged toilets, backed up sinks and other plumbing nightmares.
Thinking about your home’s plumbing is probably not something that you want to add to your list of holiday preparations. Not taking the time to do so now, however, could result in the following at the most inopportune times:
In addition to the possibility of your plumbing’s pipes and other parts of its infrastructure becoming damaged, a clogged toilet could also cause water damage to the surrounding areas. It could be severe enough that you’ll need to repair the area — or even replace some materials.
By not addressing slow moving drains or clogged toilets right away, significant damage to your pipes could occur. This might require that you spend the money that you saved for gifts, food and other holiday expenses on those repairs instead.
When you have plumbing problems, those fun and relaxing holidays times suddenly become filled with the stress of having to deal with this unexpected occurrence. There is also the inconvenience of not being able to use your plumbing fixtures as you had planned during the holidays. Not only can this put a damper on your holiday cooking, it can also wreak havoc on your plans to entertain family, friends and other guests in your home over the holidays.
Fortunately, there is a great deal that you can do as a homeowner to protect and prepare your plumbing system for its increased usage this holiday season. The following tips can help you get through this joyous time without the added stress, inconvenience and expense of plumbing issues:
It might seem like a convenient step to take — especially during the busy holiday cooking season — but do not pour any type of grease or cooking oil down your kitchen drain. Doing so can result in clogged pipes as it cools and solidifies. In addition, the grease acts as a magnet for other types of debris by collecting it as it makes its way down your drain. Instead, wait for grease to cool completely before throwing it away in your regular household trash.
As you use your plumbing system, compounds and other types of build up could occur. Stop them from becoming an issue and break them up by rinsing your sink with extremely hot water on a regular basis.
Drain cleaning products might claim to help you prevent plumbing problems by ridding your pipes of buildup and other debris. In reality, though, because the chemicals they use are toxic, damage to your pipes could occur and leave their integrity in question.
Your plumbing system was designed to have only two items flushed through it — toilet paper and human waste. That’s it. Anything else that is flushed through the system has the potential to cause backups and other problems. For that reason, avoid flushing hair, baby wipes, dental floss, cotton swabs, paper towels and other items down your toilet. Instead, throw these items away in your household trash can.
Make it easy for your guests and family members to dispose of items that don’t belong in your plumbing system. Keep a trash can near the toilet to encourage them to dispose of items there instead of throwing them in the toilet. It’s also a good idea to keep a plunger next to the toilet. This makes it quick and convenient to take care of small problems before they can become larger ones.
Like other essential systems in your home, your plumbing system needs regular maintenance. Contact a plumber to give your plumbing system a thorough inspection so that you know it is in top shape for the holidays. If your plumbing system is experiencing clogs and backed up drains, call a plumber for repairs at the first sign of trouble rather than waiting until the problem becomes larger.
By following the above suggestions, your plumbing system should be able to handle the additional demands placed on it without negatively impacting your enjoyment of the holidays.