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How To Get Your Pipes Prepared For The Holidays

With the holidays approaching quickly and guests starting to visit, the last thing you want to deal with is a crisis in the plumbing department. Disposing of household waste incorrectly can lead to a bathroom or kitchen plumbing disaster.

Follow our helpful tips below to help you avoid any embarrassing issues over the holidays!

Don’t Abuse Your Garbage Disposal

The holiday season can leave you with a lot of left-over food, but this doesn’t give you an excuse to make your garbage disposal the designated trash can!

Not everything can go into a garbage disposal, so be careful when throwing away your waste and be mindful to sort through it. Try to avoid throwing turkey bones and skin, fruit/vegetable peels or corn husks into the disposal as it’ll clog it in no time at all.

To avoid a stinky, blocked garbage disposal ruining your holidays, try to:

  • Gently remind your guests that certain items should be thrown in the trash and not in the sink.
  • Toss ice down your disposal once in a while to sharpen its blades.
  • Always run cold water down with the food (and for 60 seconds after the food is gone) to ensure the disposal is clean.

Get Your Dream Drains

Problems with your drains are one thing that will definitely spoil your winter holiday. You can almost guarantee that if you have a drainage problem, it was caused by something that was poured down it.

Do not be tempted to pour any liquid fats, cooking oil or pan grease down your drain. This will lead to a blockage as these liquids are likely to solidify and cause an obstruction once they’ve cooled down.

Grease is not the only thing that can affect your drainage system, and sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty. Here are three tips to get that shower drain sparkling for the holidays!

  • Pulling hair out of the drains is an intense workout. You’ll need to grab some gloves and screwdriver and get pulling. Hair gets tangled in shower drains all the time and can often be entangled with oil, soap and excess scum. Toss it in the trash and move on to step 2!
  • Pour a solution of vinegar and baking soda down the drain and follow it with hot water after a few minutes or so.
  • Want to keep your drains shining? Spend five bucks and grab yourself a hair catcher. They sit on top of the drain and capture all that falling hair while your drains stay perfectly clean!

How To Keep Your Shower Water Warm

Try to leave 20 minutes between people taking showers. This will allow your water tank to shut off and refill in time to warm the next bath or shower. This way all your guests will be able to shower and not have to worry about a cold wash!

Buy A Low-Flow Shower Head

These are quite cheap and will save you a lot on energy and water costs. It’ll also keep your guests from draining the water tank too quickly, allowing more people to be able to shower.

To Flush, Or Not To Flush?

It might be obvious to you that throwing sanitary napkins into your toilet is a big ‘no’ on the list of things you can and can’t flush. But as many of us know, not all people have common sense. You may be aware of what things you can’t throw into your septic system, but your guests might not.

Take some time to remind them of what can and can not be flushed down your toilet. Make a list like the one below of all the things that you know are a potential danger to your septic system and could cause an unsuspected clog during your holiday celebrations.

  • Flushable wipes
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Facial cleansing pads
  • Cotton balls & swabs
  • Paper towels

Consider popping up a list in the bathroom if you’re expecting a lot of not-so-familiar guests that might feel embarrassed to ask.

While we’re on the subject of embarrassed house guests – make sure to have a plunger in every bathroom you have! No one wants to be caught in the bathroom and have to ask for a plunger!!

Holiday Home Plumbing Inspections

Make sure you’re fully prepared for the holiday season by getting your plumbing inspected in advance.

Plumbing issues are often caused by wear and tear – so it's a good idea to get your plumbing system inspected by a licensed plumber at least once a year.

These tips are here to help you be prepared for any mishaps and hopefully help you avoid any major disasters in the plumbing department.
At Nichols and Phipps, we want to make your holiday as stress-free as possible. If you need a plumbing inspection to prevent any mishaps over the festive season, give us a call on (703) 497-9187.
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