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The holidays are a time for family, friends and quite a few plumbing emergencies. A majority of Americans take part in holiday parties with 11 or more guests around Thanksgiving and Christmas. These extra guests put a serious strain on a home's plumbing system, which results in more emergency calls to plumbers.
Big holiday meals require a busy kitchen. Too much grease and food finds its way into the kitchen drain or disposer. Holiday guests also equate to extra showers and baths as well as lots of extra toilet flushes. It all adds up to potential plumbing disasters.
Pipes clog because of a gradual buildup of grease, hair, soap and/ or food particles. All it takes it one major overload, like a house full of guests, to exasperate the situation and create a clogged drain. Follow these tips to avoid a plumbing disaster.
In the Kitchen
- Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats
solidify in the pipes and create clogs.
- Wipe congealed grease from pots.
Never put hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste into the garbage
disposer (poultry skins, carrots, celery, pumpkin pulp or banana peels).
The disposer can't sufficiently grind these items and they will clog
your sink drain.
- Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after
using the garbage disposer to flush waste down the main line.
- Turn on the disposer before adding food debris.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or at off times to
conserve hot water and maintain adequate water pressure for your guests
In the Bathroom
- Plan ahead, spread out showers throughout the day; wait 10 minutes between showers rather than taking one right after another.
- Turn up the water heater slightly to retain hot water. To avoid scalding, do not exceed 125°F.
- If shower pressure is weak, pour a cup of vinegar into a plastic bag, place it over the shower head, and soak. Use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the mineral deposits to help restore water flow.