As the song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the busiest time of year for plumbers. Between all the food prep and extra activity in your bathrooms, the holidays can wreak a special kind of havoc on your plumbing system.
Here are five of the most common plumbing mishaps that can spoil your yuletide celebrations.
1. Clogged Kitchen Sink
If you have a garbage disposal, you know that certain foods grind up much better than others. To keep your plumbing system in good working order, here are some items that you should never put down your garbage disposal:
Celery: The fibrous strings of celery are notorious for entangling disposal blades. (Same goes for corn husks and asparagus.)
Bones: They’re not going to chop up and even if they manage to slip past the blade, you’ll have whole chicken bones in your drain clogging up the works.
Coffee grounds: At first, coffee grounds seem to go down easy. However, they often accumulate, forming a stubborn blockage.
Fruit pits: Some fruit pits are as hard as bones. They will not grind up or go down your drain without causing an obstruction.
Pasta: Pasta expands in water, so avoid dumping it down the drain where it will swell and clog up your drain. This is also true of rice.
Potato: What do you get when you put potatoes and potato peels through the garbage disposal? Something like mashed potatoes. They won’t wash down easy.
Hang a sign reminding guests to keep these foods out of the disposal and direct them to dump in the trash.
2. Clogged toilet
If you or your guests try to flush any of the following items down your toilets, you may be in for a bad time:
Hair: Hair is fibrous and does not break down easily. If it gets caught in the drain, it will collect debris and cause a major clog.
Paper products: Feminine hygiene products, paper towels, diapers and so-called flushable wipes do not dissolve in water. Toiletpaper is the only product designed to be flushed.
3. Out of Hot Water
The more overnight guests you host, the more likely it is that you’ll run out of hot water. To prevent this, encourage guests to allow at least 15 minutes between showers, giving the tank time to replenish.
A better idea: Upgrade to a tankless water heater so you’ll never run out of hot water. A tankless water heater uses super-heated coils to provide hot water continuously.
4. Burst Washer Hose
Guests may want to wash their clothes during their stay. Be sure to check your washer hoses before your guests arrive. Rubber hoses are subject to wear and tear. They become dry and brittle over time and are prone to bursting, putting a damper on your guests’ visit. Check for the following:
- Check the connections to ensure there are no leaks
- Examine hoses for blisters, cracks, discoloration
- See if the tubes are properly positioned so that there are no kinks or crimps
5. No Plunger Handy
Spare your guests the embarrassment of having to ask for a toilet plunger. Place a plunger in each bathroom.
Bottom line: The good news is you can prevent many of these catastrophes by scheduling a professional drain cleaning ahead of your holiday celebrations. We hope your holiday celebrations go off without a hitch. If you encounter a plumbing emergency, contact Mark Johnson Plumbing at (318) 257-6167.