Holidays can bring stress. A plumbing emergency during your holiday celebration can throw any chance for enjoyment right down the drain. This season, don’t risk it. Instead, prepare yourself – and your home’s plumbing – for the busy season ahead.

One of the best things about the holiday season is filling your home with family and friends. However, all those guests can lead to excess strain on your home’s plumbing system. Clogged drains, garbage disposals and toilets, and over-worked water heaters head the list.

6 Common Issues & Tips to Prevent Them

While holiday activities can put strain on your home’s plumbing, there are ways to ease this strain. Here are six quick tips to prevent a plumbing catastrophe during the holidays:

  1. Clogged Sinks – Avoid draining oils and greases down your kitchen sink. Fatty substances can solidify in your pipes and clog your kitchen’s plumbing. Instead of pouring cooking oil and grease down the drain, let it cool, wipe it up with paper towel and dispose of it in the trash. Using strainers in your sink drains will also help prevent clogs by catching larger items that might otherwise slip down the drain and cause issues. Additionally, clean your plumbing fixtures with vinegar to remove any build up. This will help ensure a free flow of water. As an added bonus, your faucets will be sparkling for your guests.
  1. Clogged Garbage Disposals – Remember that disposals can only handle a certain amount of food all at once. Cut large items into smaller pieces before putting them in the disposal. Avoid putting bones or other fibrous scraps (celery, fruit peels, poultry skin, etc.) down your disposal. These items are difficult to grind and create the potential for a clogged disposal. Don’t forget to run cool water before, during and after grinding to flush your disposal. Additionally, be sure to turn the disposal on before putting food scraps in it. Just as oil and grease can clog a sink drain, they can also cause a blockage in the disposal. If your disposal develops a bad odor, try grinding citrus peelings to freshen it up.
  1. Clogged Toilets – With lots of people using the bathroom, it’s common for toilets to become clogged. Always have a plunger handy. Also, keep a trash bin close by so your guests have a proper disposal outlet for baby wipes, facial tissues, and sanitary napkins.
  1. Malfunctioning Water Heaters – Although it’s hiding quietly in the basement, your water heater works hard over the holidays. It is a vital component to your home’s plumbing system; therefore it is imperative that it isn’t overwhelmed during the holiday festivities. Consider turning the heater up to raise its capacity. Be sure not to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and remember to turn your water heater back down after the holidays to avoid wasting energy. Furthermore, if you’re hosting houseguests over the holidays, try to space out showers. This will allow time for your water heater to recover and be better able to service hot water.
  1. Avoid Frozen Pipes – The holiday months in Wisconsin are cold. Frozen pipes are a common plumbing upheaval in the winter. To avoid frozen pipes be sure to disconnect garden hoses from outdoor spigots, ensure pipes in cooler areas of your home are properly insulated, and keep your thermostat set to a minimum of 55 degrees, even if you’re away.
  1. Check For Problems – Perhaps the most important thing you can do to safeguard a problem-free holiday is a little preventative maintenance. Take a bit of time to look over the pipes in your home to search out cracks and small leaks that might otherwise go unnoticed. By taking the time to plan ahead, you could catch an issue early and spearhead the problem before it happens.

What If An Emergency Happens?

Even with the best intensions you might experience a plumbing problems. If you’re in need of plumbing repair this holiday season, PJ’s Plumbing can help. From leaks and clogs to repairs and replacements, the certified plumbers at PJ’s Plumbing are available 24/7 – even during the holidays.