The holidays are a time to enjoy with friends and family. However, Thanksgiving, and other seasonal holidays, present the perfect recipe for costly and embarrassing plumbing nightmares and plumbing failures. With a little planning and insight from industry experts, you can prevent yourself from holiday hassles. Here are the top four tips from Gary Eisenhauer , general manager of The Sunny Plumber, to keep your pipe dreams in check and prevent plumbing nightmares.
What is the No. 1 issue consumers need to think about to keep their plumbing working?
One of the most common plumbing issues people face during the holidays is a clogged sink or malfunctioning garbage disposal. I always recommend being wary of the “FOG.” Fats, oils, and grease are your garbage disposals worst enemy. While this material is in liquid form when it’s initially poured into the disposal, it congeals into a viscous sludge as it cools. The FOG then sticks to the walls of the disposal chamber, as well as the walls of the drain pipe. This can gum up the impeller, as well as clog the drain. Don’t pour FOG down the garbage disposal if you want to avoid these issues. Throw it away, instead.
That’s a good tip. What else should I avoid putting down my drain?
Never put beans, rice, pasta and bread down the drain. These are like sponges and when saturated with water, this food material will expand and can cause a backup. In addition, bones and fibrous foods should be thrown away or composted.
Moving to the bathroom, what should we steer clear of?
During the holidays bathroom facilities are taxed with additional traffic and usage. Annual maintenance to clear any build-up can often prevent major toilet clogs and avoid the spread of infectious waste in the bathroom. Also, stay away from using chemicals to try and clear blockage as this rarely remedies a clogged line and can damage your pipes. If a plunger doesn’t clear the clog, turn to the pros.
What to be mindful of with water heaters?
The arrival of cooler weather raises caution for water heaters. Cold air causes expansion and contraction in water heaters and in older units, fractures can occur resulting in failure – which usually leads to flooding. Routine maintenance can identify those risks as well as ensure water heaters are operating effectively and efficiently. Water heaters are your best friend, but can cause a lot of headaches when they are not taken care of or installed incorrectly. With some minor attention, you can prevent major problems from occurring and enjoy the holiday without flooding or no hot water with a house full of guests.