People look forward to the holidays for various reasons, including family and friends coming over, preparing meals, and buying gifts. However, with everything going on, plus the heightened activities at home, these could cause strain on your plumbing. Unfortunately, this may be one of the last things on your mind. If you don’t plan, the festive season can quickly become a cumbersome ordeal.
A plumbing checklist can help identify potential holiday plumbing problems. You can also hire professional plumbers to conduct maintenance and preventive plumbing. Furthermore, this article will provide you with six ways to holiday-proof your plumbing, allowing you to focus on taking all the seasonal love in.
Test Your Bathrooms And Kitchens
If you have bathrooms reserved for guests, check if everything is working as it should, especially if you don’t usually have guests over. Ensure to flush toilets, turn on showers with hot and cold water, run faucets and taps to check for leaks (above and below the sink) and ensure drains aren’t clogged with nasties such as toilet fresheners, grease, toilet paper and tree roots.. You’ll need to perform regular maintenance on these rooms anyway, so why not get it done before things get busy?
In the kitchen, be sure to check all integrated appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and kitchen ventilation – and don’t forget to check the kitchen sink is flowing as it should without any leaks! These appliances may take on more loads over the holidays, so they should be in good working condition.
If the kitchen sink is running slow, you could always try using baking soda and vinegar to unblock your drain. Here’s how to do it:
- Firstly, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
- Next, pour 1 cup of baking soda and a 50/50 mix of 230ml water + 230ml vinegar solution.
- Thirdly, cover with the drain plug and wait 5 to 10 minutes.
- Lastly, proceed to pour boiling water down the drain again.
If this doesn’t work, call your friendly plumbers at Water Workx Plumbing.
Prep Your Hot Water Heater
Aside from your finances, your water heater will inevitably feel the strain this holiday season. It will help to check your unit’s settings before the house gets crowded. Likewise, you can advise overnight guests to allow the water heater time to recover for at least 10 to 20 minutes between showers. Doing so can avoid hot water issues. Additionally, refrain from simultaneously using appliances that use heated water while people are showering.
If your water heater is over a decade old, it’s best to get an upgrade. Utilising an old unit may require more maintenance and are less energy efficient, while new water units can save you time and money in the future.
Flush Out Drains
The kitchen and bathroom sinks will go into overdrive during the holidays, so it’s best to pour piping hot water down the drains to eliminate or reduce any blockages. Turn this practice into a year-round routine to keep blockages from forming. Additionally, if you have stubborn blockages, call the pros instead of using drain-cleaning products. The chemicals in those solutions can damage the pipes, making it a short-term solution with long-term risks.
Be mindful of what’s being flushed down the drain. Besides the obvious – oil, grease, fats – be wary of having starches go down the drain. For example, starch from potato peels can act as glue, causing other wastes to stick to your pipes. Your garbage disposal drains might find peels, bones, and other solid food waste challenging to break down. In this case, it’s best to put them in the bin instead.
Prep For Extended Vacations
There are also things you should take care of if you’ll be playing guest over the holidays or if you’re taking the family on an extended trip. The first thing is switching your water valve off, this will prevent you from having a burst pipe or burst flexible hose – you definitely don’t want to come home from a nice, relaxing trip to a flooded property!
We also recommend isolating the power for your hot water system to save you money while you’re away. Moreover, ensure all taps are drained and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Addressing these will ensure you come home from a memorable holiday hassle-free.
Use A Sewer Drain Snake
Drain snakes are used to prevent potentially messy situations. It’s a relatively simple job that could save everyone potentially embarrassing holiday stories. If you haven’t done this before, drain snakes involve twisting a wire coil into the pipes.
This breaks up and pulls any blockages your lines may have. Make sure you use the correct size drain snake, as the incorrect one could loop back on itself which will cause it to spin, bang and thrust against your pipes, causing further damage.