Few things can ruin the happy, festive holiday season like having plumbing problems while hosting guests. Your plumbing gets a hard workout over the holidays, and issues can arise with more people in your home using water.
Scheduling plumbing repairs and regular maintenance before guests arrive can help you avoid inconvenient plumbing problems while houseguests are staying.
Here are some of the most common holiday season problems our Chas Roberts plumbers encounter:
Clogged toilets are a common plumbing problem over the holidays.
If you have houseguests, you have more people using the toilets in your home, and they may not have the same ideas as you do about what should and should not get flushed.
Toilet clogs often result from guests flushing things down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed, such as baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, and paper towels.
Remind your houseguests that nothing should be flushed except toilet paper and provide a wastebasket for all non-flushable items.
If a toilet in your home seems to have regular clogs or there’s a problem with a running toilet, fix it before guests arrive, as any issues will only get worse with the bathroom getting used more than usual.
The problem could be as simple as adjusting the flapper in the toilet tank, or there may be a bigger problem with the toilet that requires professional help. Either way, it’s best to deal with it before you have guests in the house.
You can leave a plunger in the bathroom, too, just in case.
You may not realize how much more hot water your water heater must produce when you have houseguests. If everyone wants to shower at once, you may end up with no hot water.
You’re probably running the dishwasher more when you have houseguests, too, which uses even more hot water.
It’s a good idea to stagger the shower-taking and plan when you’ll run the dishwasher or do laundry. Ask guests to wait 15-20 minutes between showers so the water heater can recover and produce more hot water.
While your water heater may be the right size for your household, it may not be big enough to accommodate your guests’ additional hot water usage.
Have a water heater service done before guests arrive if your unit hasn’t been serviced recently.
If your water heater is ten years old or older, it’s at or near the end of its functional lifespan. Consider replacing it with a new, more efficient model before guests arrive to avoid water heater failure.
The holidays mean you’re probably preparing more meals than usual and putting more food scraps into your garbage disposal. Your houseguests may be helping with the cleanup, too.
Not every kind of food should go into a garbage disposal. You’re better off putting some things in the trash to avoid clogs.
Things not to put into the garbage disposal include nuts, shells, bones, potato peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, fibrous vegetables like celery and lettuce, and grease.
Hot grease forms a solid when it goes into cold pipes and can cause a backup in your sink. Grease should never go into your garbage disposal. Pour it into a container, let it harden, and dispose of it in the trash.
Potatoes are starchy and can act like glue and stick to your pipes, so avoid putting them into your garbage disposal.
It’s best to clean plates off in the trash before putting them into the dishwasher. Clean out the dishwasher drain regularly, too, to prevent it from clogging.
Flush the drain in your kitchen sink by running the hot water after doing dishes, and make sure the food trap in the kitchen sink fits properly.
If your guests are helping with the cleanup, they may need a gentle reminder about what shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal.
Cleaning your garbage disposal regularly by filling your sink with warm water and dishwashing soap and running the disposal as the water drains will help keep your unit clean and smelling fresh.
If you have a bathroom that doesn’t get regular use and houseguests will use it, it’s a good idea to check the sink and shower drains before your guests arrive.
Bathroom sink drains can get clogged from hair and debris going down the drain. To keep the water flowing smoothly, you need to clean out sink drains regularly.
Remove the drain stoppers and wipe them clean.
The shower drain is clogged if the shower has water backing up when you run the water. Your guests will appreciate a shower that drains quickly as they’re showering, so they’re not standing in inches of water.
If water is backing up, the drain probably needs to be snaked. You can snake the drain yourself or call a professional at Chas Roberts to do it for you before guests arrive.
Once you unclog the shower drain, install a strainer to prevent future problems.
Few things are as annoying as the dripping sound of a leaky faucet. If your guests are using a bathroom that doesn’t normally get much use, you could be unaware of the leak.
Leaky faucets waste water and cost money, so you need to fix them as soon as possible.
If you’re unable to diagnose the cause of the leak, call a plumbing professional at Chas Roberts for service.
The holidays should be a time of family, friends, and holiday cheer, not plumbing problems. During times of need, contact the plumbing professionals at Chas Roberts.