holiday plumbing

With all of the excitement surrounding the holidays, you don’t want to spend time stressing over how well (or not-so-well) your home’s plumbing system is functioning.

However, checking on the status of your home’s plumbing system throughout the holiday season can save you a lot of money that could be used for excellent gift giving. To help you avoid some plumbing mishaps this winter, here is Warner Service’s handy guide to the dos and don’ts of holiday plumbing:

Do use a bendable steel snake for toilet emergencies. Unfortunately, it’s likely that all of the holiday goodies will cause a back-up in your toilet at least once during the season. If this occurs, ditch the old-fashioned plunger, and take out the clog with a bendable steel snake. Maneuver the snake into the toilet with the crank handle and pump until the toilet flushes properly.

Don’t throw the turkey bones down the kitchen disposal. Hard materials like animal bones are not meant to be shredded by the tiny blades of a kitchen disposal. Though the blades are powerful, throwing these leftovers down the drain could cause the blades to break and fall into the pipes, causing costly damages.

Do turn up your water heater. If you have overnight guests joining you for the holidays, turn up your water heater slightly to retain hot water for showers. (To prevent scalding, do not turn the water heater up to more than 125 degrees.) Taking this measure means everyone can take a warm shower, but try to spread out the showers at least 10 minutes apart.

Don’t pour fats and oils down the drain. The holidays bring in some hearty meals full of grease and fats, but you should never flush those liquids down the kitchen drain. This can cause clogging due to their sticky properties. You should avoid putting celery, carrots and potato peels down the disposal, too. Instead, chuck them in the trash.

Do clean your shower head with vinegar. This may sound like a trick, but vinegar helps break down the mineral deposits that tend to build up around the shower head. If multiple guests will use your shower, this handy tip will help the water pressure stay even throughout all of the showers.

Pour one cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic bag then secure it around the shower head overnight using a rubber band or a hair tie. In the morning, carefully remove the bag and scrub off any remaining debris with an old sponge before your guests arrive.

Don’t assume your disposal is still working. Assuming your kitchen disposal is still functioning after these holiday feasts is a big no-no. Before you put the appropriate leftovers down the drain—hopefully you didn’t put the pumpkin pulp down there—turn on the disposal to hear how it sounds. If it isn’t a smooth whirring, give it a break for an hour or two.

Do check for frozen pipes. With the temperatures dropping rapidly, it’s important to see that your home’s pipes are not frozen. If you turn on the faucet and only a trickle drops, suspect that a section of the pipe is iced over. Use a hair dryer, heating pad, warm towels or portable space heater to melt the ice. If this doesn’t solve the problem, contact a plumbing professional immediately.

To stay on the Nice List this holiday season, it’s important to keep your plumbing functioning. You can do so by following these simple dos and don’ts year-round. If a plumbing problem is spoiling your festivities, contact Warner Service today.

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