Protect Your Plumbing This Holiday Season
Plumbing, Drain and Sewer Line Disasters = A Not-So-Merry Christmas and Unhappy New Year
The holidays are upon us, and along with all the joy comes an increased risk of serious plumbing emergencies. The sudden influx of people visiting your home can put unexpected pressure on your plumbing system – more washing, more bathing, more flushing, and more things going down the drain or garbage disposal.
Winter is usually a busy season for plumbers. On the day after Christmas alone, plumbing contractors in the Delaware Valley — including Horizon Services, Inc. — report a jump in business of 20 to 40 percent over a normal day. We get so absorbed in holiday celebrations that we often don’t consider the strain that these parties and out-of-town guests can put on our home’s plumbing.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can dramatically reduce the chances that your plumber will be the guest of honor at your next holiday party. Here’s what you can do to minimize the likelihood that you will have a plumbing, drain or sewer line emergency in the midst of your holiday celebrations:
Plumbing Precautions In the Kitchen
Don’t pour grease or cooking oil down the drain or into the garbage disposal. These fats can solidify in your pipes and cause clogs that can back up drains. Wipe grease from pots and pans with a paper towel, and put the towels in the trash. You can also drain grease into a clean, empty can and throw it away.
Don’t put things like celery, poultry skin, pumpkin pulp or potato peels into the garbage disposal. Stringy, fibrous items like these aren’t easily broken down by the disposal blades and may cause clogs.
Run some cold water for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal. This helps flush waste out to the main sewer line.
Be sure the disposal is running when you put food into it, instead of filling the sink and then turning it on.
Run your washing machine and dishwasher at night to help conserve hot water and water pressure so your guests can shower in comfort whenever they wish.
Plumbing Precautions In the Bathroom
Plan ahead and try to schedule showers if you are expecting company, waiting at least 10 minutes between showers. This gives drains a chance to empty fully and lets your hot water heater refill for the next person.
Turn up the heat on your water heater slightly to help increase its capacity. Be careful not to turn the temperature higher than 125 degrees, though, to avoid scalding your guests.
Put a trash can in each bathroom and empty them frequently so your guests won’t use the toilet to dispose of garbage like used tissues, cotton swabs, facial scrub pads, hair, napkins and disposable hand towels.
Stock each bathroom with a plunger and put it where it can be reached easily if it is needed.
Keep a chemical drain cleaner handy in case of emergency. Most minor kitchen or bathroom clogs can be resolved with these products, and if you watch for slow drains you can usually catch most problems before they require the expertise of a professional. If you do need to use a chemical drain cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use only in a well-ventilated area.
When Holiday Plumbing Disasters Strike
As proactive and precautionary as you may be, you may still find yourself in the throes of a plumbing emergency. May be when you’re wrapping presents. Or entertaining guests. Or trying to enjoy some cookies and eggnog. If a plumbing situation arises in the middle of your holiday preparation and celebration, take comfort in knowing that the plumbing and drain professionals at Horizon Services are just a phone call away. Our customer service representatives and plumbing and drain technicians will be available morning, noon and night throughout the holiday season…including Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Eve and Day!
If you need emergency plumbing, drain or sewer line service any time over the holiday season, Contact Horizon Services — 24/7!