There are many wonderful surprises to look forward to over the holiday season, from gifts you’ve been dreaming of all year to an abundance of festive family events. However, one surprise that you certainly don’t want to experience as a holiday guest visiting family or friends, is a plumbing disaster!
Nobody wants to deal with a plumbing problem during the holiday season, but it can be particularly bad having to handle a disaster when you’re a guest in someone else’s home. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid the nightmare of burst pipes, overflowing toilets, clogged drains and all manner of other plumbing issues with a few simple prevention tips.
Our top plumbing disaster prevention tips for holiday guests will also come in handy when your holiday comes to an end and you return home – so it’s worth taking note! Without further ado, here are seven top tips and one bonus tip for avoiding plumbing disasters:
Not every plumbing problem is serious enough to warrant calling it a disaster, but most problems can escalate into disasters if you don’t shut them down quickly. The way to do this is to locate the shutoff valve and make sure you know how to turn off the water supply. If a pipe does burst unexpectedly or a hose comes loose, switching off the water quickly will turn an almost-disaster into just a quick call to a local plumber.
Taking care of the dishes after dinner is a great way to thank your host for inviting you into their home… unless you end up clogging the drain! If there’s a drain strainer to hand, make sure to use it and keep things like coffee grounds and oil/grease out of the drain. Pouring fats down the drain is one of the fastest ways to clog the pipes.
If you’re lucky enough to have control over the heating in your room during your holiday, then it’s better for the plumbing to keep the house warm than to try and save your hosts some money on their heating bills. A cold house means cold pipes, which can quickly escalate to burst pipes if the temperature drops too low.
If you find yourself having to use a garbage disposal during your holiday, then bear in mind that it can’t handle everything you try to throw down it. Most garbage disposals can’t cope with bones, celery, fruit pits, potato peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and many other items. If it’s starchy, stringy or hard, then the safest bet is to pop it in the bin.
Just as there are certain items to keep well away from the drain and garbage disposal, there are also many things that shouldn’t be flushed down your host’s toilet. Hair, diapers, cotton balls, wet wipes, swabs and feminine hygiene products should be disposed of in a bin, not the toilet. Too many of these items could cause the toilet to become clogged.
The more people there are staying under the same roof, the more demand they’ll be to use the shower. Creating a shower schedule is a great idea to prevent potential plumbing disasters like clogged pipes and make sure that everyone gets time in the bathroom. Extra people will mean that more hair and water pass through the shower drains, so it’s best to leave around 10 minutes between each use.
If you need to dry any clothes while you’re away from home, it’s better to ask to use the dryer than to take a shortcut and try to dry your clothes on an exposed pipe. Exposed pipes may seem like the perfect place to hang your clothes for quick drying, but if you add too much weight to the pipes, your clothes may end up even damper because there’s a chance the pipe will burst!
If you’re planning to switch roles from holiday guest to holiday host, then you’ll need a whole new set of tips to keep your home free of plumbing disasters during the holiday season – and hopefully much longer!
Along with sharing some of the tips we’ve already covered with your guests, here are five more easy ways to prevent a plumbing disaster when entertaining guests:
Inspect your toilet for signs of leaks, make sure there’s a bin nearby for items that shouldn’t be flushed and have a plunger to hand, just in case.
Give your drains a thorough clean and remove clogs with a mixture of baking soda (1/2 cup), salt (1/2 cup) and white wine vinegar (1/4 cup).
Call in a professional HVAC inspector to check your heater for clogs, broken parts and ventilation issues; schedule a tune-up before your guests arrive.
Get your water heater professionally inspected for signs of sediment buildup, leaks, debris and damage.
Check the hoses on your washing machine for signs of wear and tear or leaks. You should also check the faucets outside your house for leaks.
Just a few simple checks will help to keep your plumbing in excellent condition over the holidays and long into the new year.
If the worst does happen and you experience a plumbing disaster, then Arco Plumbing are who you need to call for a fast response in Westmont, Illinois and the surrounding areas.
We’re always reliable in an emergency, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for advice and expert solutions, whether you have a water leak, broken fixtures, cracked pipe or flooding disaster. We can also take care of plumbing inspections, tune-ups and drain cleaning, to reduce the risk of plumbing problems ruining your holidays!