8 ways to keep your plumbing in top shape this holiday season
It’s not too late to make sure your home’s plumbing is ready for the big holiday ahead. Before you welcome your guests, whether they’re coming over for an evening or staying for a few nights, you’ll want to make sure your plumbing is ready to work harder than it probably has all year long.
Luckily, it isn’t very time consuming to check the plumbing in every part of your home or to keep it running smoothly during the holidays, just follow the tips below. By doing so, you’ll also be making sure that your plumbing is prepared for the winter months ahead.
Do a plumbing inspection. While this can certainly be performed by a professional, it’s easy to do on your own, too. Make sure there are no leaks around the base of your toilets, faucets, or the hot water heater. Check the washing machine and dryer and remove any lint from the trap, and check the garbage disposal as well, to make sure it’s working properly.
Watch what you put down the drain. As you prepare those holiday meals, it’s a good idea to have a glass jar or old aluminum can handy for grease. Always put poultry bones, vegetable peels, and ground coffee in the compost or trash bin. Putting any of these things down the drain can cause your garbage disposal to stop working, or clog a drain.
Protect the toilet. Remind guests not to flush cotton balls, sanitary napkins or tampons, face tissues, hair, or Q-Tips down the toilet. Make sure there’s a plunger on hand in case you do experience a toilet clog, and light a scented candle when guests are over to keep the bathroom in top shape.
Check the water pressure. Before your overnight guests arrive, make sure the water pressure in your shower is strong. If you notice that the pressure is weak, it could be due to mineral deposits in the shower head. This is easy to remedy by removing the head and cleaning it. We recommend using an old toothbrush to scrub away any deposits.
Make sure there’s enough hot water. When you’re travelling, few things are as disappointing as having to take a cold shower (especially in December!). This is a great time to check the hot water heater to ensure it’s working at its best. Turn the water heater high enough to accommodate your guests and be sure to stagger showering times to give the water time to warm up between uses.
Conserve energy in the laundry room. Ask your guests to refrain from washing just a few items at a time, or have them place their clothes in a laundry bin to be washed when it’s full. Doing multiple small loads of laundry can make your energy and water bills spike, not to mention it may use up all the hot water your guests were probably wanting for their showers.
A trick to prevent frozen pipes. The forecast for the upcoming holidays looks cold, with temps dipping near or below freezing at night. To make sure your pipes don’t freeze, open your sink cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen so that the warmer air in your home can keep them a bit warmer, too.
Be safe. If you’ve got older guests, it’s especially important to make sure the bathroom is slip-resistant. Place non-strip strips or a mat in the bathtub, keep the bathroom floor dry, and make sure the bathtub is free of any soap scum that can make it slippery. Outside, make sure the walkways and sidewalk areas are free from ice so your guests stay safe entering or leaving your home.
Don’t let a plumbing problem stop you from enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. And remember, if a plumbing issue does arise this season, we’re only a phone call away.