We can hardly believe it is almost Thanksgiving. And if you’re anything like us, you have more important things to do this holiday season than worry about the state of your plumbing.
However, the chances are higher around this time of year that you will see an issue with your plumbing.
As you and your family spend more time cooking, cleaning and hosting guests for the holidays- your plumbing gets more use- and sometimes abuse- than normal.
We thought you might appreciate a few pointers to keep your pipes and drains in top shape for your guests this year.
1. Don’t forget about your water heater.
We know it is an easy thing to do. We tend to take care of the things that are in plain sight- and we doubt your water heater is a prominent fixture in your home.
We highly recommend taking a trip to the basement, utility room or garage to visit.
At the very least, you will need to do a visual inspection of your water heater to check for signs of rust or corrosion, obvious cracks or puddles of water anywhere nearby are never good.
Your best option is to schedule an annual ‘Flush and Fill’ for your system. This service is relatively inexpensive and is recommended by manufacturers to keep your water heater working efficiently for as long as possible.
2. Clear drains and water fixtures now, before they become clogged.
No one enjoys a low-pressure faucet or standing water due to a slow moving drain.
Ensure your guests have a memorable experience because of your cooking- and not the clogged shower. By taking a few minutes to address each plumbing fixture and drain, you could prevent larger problems from developing.
You can quickly address dirty or blocked showerheads and sink faucets by soaking them in white vinegar overnight before scrubbing them clean with an old toothbrush.
To clean showerheads that don’t detach from the wall, simply fill a plastic bag halfway with vinegar and then tie it to the fixture with a zip tie or reuse an old wire twist tie from your bread. Soak overnight and remove.
You can use a similar trick with vinegar to work on your plumbing. We recommend removing any obvious debris like hair and soap scum before pouring one cup of vinegar down each of your drains. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Then pour one cup of baking soda down each drain followed by three cups of boiling water. As always- be careful when using hot water and wear gloves to protect your skin should you spill any.
You may repeat this process if needed to clear a slow-moving drain.
3. Be mindful of the limitations of your garbage disposal.
Not all food is suitable for your garbage disposal. Stringy, fibrous and heavy foods can block your plumbing or break your disposal entirely. You should never put vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, cheese or grease down your disposal.
You will always want to run COLD water before, during and after putting food down your disposal as well. While hot water may seem like the obvious choice, the heat will soften the grease, allowing it to get through to clog your pipes further down.
Take action today to make sure your home is ready and as hospitable as it can be this Thanksgiving.