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Surviving the Holidays – Plumbing Tips

The holidays are a wonderful time of year. With all the entertaining that goes on during the holiday season, a lot of extra pressure is placed on your plumbing system. It goes without saying, that the holiday season is a busy time of year for plumbers. Many plumbing problems are preventable, so if you are planning on entertaining this holiday season, it is a good idea to prepare your plumbing beforehand. Here are some plumbing tips to help you survive the holidays.

Protect Your Drains

One of the most important plumbing tips is to protect your drains. Drains aren’t meant to remove trash, food, and other debris. So anything that goes into the drain that doesn’t belong has the potential to get caught and cause a clog. A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems, but you can prevent them by keeping inappropriate items out.

Items that Should Never Go Down the Drain:

  • Leftovers
  • Bones
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables like potato peel or corn husks
  • Heavy starch foods like pasta, dough, or batter
  • Grease and fat
  • Trash
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Hair
  • Paper other than toilet paper, even if it says flush-able, please proceed with caution
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Dental Floss
  • Chemicals

The next step in protecting your drains is to invest in screens. You can put screens in all sinks, tubs, and showers to prevent unwanted items from going down the drain. Screens are really affordable and can help you save on future plumbing problems.

If you are planning on doing some heavy entertaining this holiday season, it may be a good idea to have your drains cleaned by a professional. Regular drain cleaning is the best way to keep things moving and prevent clogs. Over time, grime buildup, which can start to collect debris and form obstructions. Any extra stress only exacerbates the issue. Regular drain cleaning eliminates the buildup so things keep moving.

Water Pressure

Another common plumbing problem we see is issues with water pressure, either too much or too little. Low water pressure could be the result of a valve not being fully opened, a faulty pressure regulator, or simply mineral buildup inside your plumbing fixtures. Too much water pressure could be the result of living downhill or a faulty valve. Some signs you have too much water pressure include banging pipes, leaky faucets, running toilets, leaky water heater, running out of hot water too quickly, and frequent breakdowns of appliances. Ideally, water pressure should be between 50-70 psi to reduce water waste. If you suspect you have issues with your water pressure, have your plumber check your psi.

If you have water pressure issues, it is a good idea to get these taken care of before the holidays. You want your guests to be comfortable, and also want to avoid any unnecessary plumbing problems from the added stress.

Preventing Smelly Drains 

Another plumbing tip to help you survive the holidays is to help you prevent smelly drains. There are several reasons why your drains may smell:

  • Dried p-trap, which can be common in a guest bathroom that doesn’t get used all that often. P-traps are designed to keep a protective barrier of water in the trap to prevent sewer gas from entering into the home. Simply run some water to allow the water the create the necessary barrier.
  • Clogged vent stack, which helps ventilate sewer gas that builds up inside your pipes. Vent stacks are located on top of the roof. This time of year they can get clogged with leaves, birds nests, and even snow and ice. You should have a plumber check your vent stack for you if you suspect this is the reason.
  • You may need to deodorize your drains. If you are doing some heavy cooking, you may want to deodorize your drains. You can try lemon peels, or a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water works really well.

For more plumbing tips, or to schedule your repair, contact Courtesy Plumbing today!

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