The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers everywhere. It’s not what holiday preppers are planning for, but a few helpful tips will go a long way. The plumbing experts at Shafer Services Plus are here to help.
Tips to Prevent and Fix Plumbing Emergencies:
More people and bigger meals put a strain on pipes and garbage disposals. Here are the biggest culprits:
1. Grease and Food Scraps:
Excessive fats and food scraps poured down the drain can lead to clogged pipes. Allow grease to cool and solidify before disposing of it in the trash, rather than pouring it down the sink. Place strainers in your kitchen sink to catch food scraps, preventing them from entering the drain. If a clog occurs, try a plunger or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clear minor clogs.
Do not use liquid drain cleaners because they contain a mixture of caustic ingredients that are bad for your pipes, plumbing, and fixtures. Plus, they can cause harm to the user. Two of their most common ingredients are Sulfuric and Hydrochloric Acid. Sulfuric Acid dissolves organic compounds such as hair, grease, and food; but it also reacts with metal in your pipes, corroding them and causing bigger problems down the road. Hydrochloric Acid also corrodes metal and porcelain. Other added ingredients in liquid drain cleaners can include lye, bleach, and salt.
If a plunger and baking soda mixture recommendation does not work, we can come in and provide Hydro Jetting which is a safer and natural solution. Hydro Jetting uses high-pressure jets of water to remove debris and blockages in pipes. When you combine this with a camera inspection, you can see exactly what’s going on in your plumbing.
2. Overuse of Toilets:
With more guests in the house, toilets get used more frequently, leading to potential clogs and overflows. Encourage guests to use less toilet paper and dispose of sanitary products in the trash. If a clog does happen, grab a plunger. Give it a good, firm plunge, making sure to maintain a good seal around the drain. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might want to try a toilet auger, which is like a super-long, flexible metal snake designed to break up clogs. If those DIY methods fail, it might be time to call in the professionals. Nobody wants a toilet-related catastrophe on Turkey Day.
A mountain of dirty dishes can overload the dishwasher. It can lead to water not draining properly, putting extra strain on the appliance and potentially causing leaks. Regular maintenance, not overloading, and ensuring that the dishwasher is used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines can help prevent leaks and extend the lifespan of the appliance. Wash dishes in smaller batches to avoid overloading the dishwasher and causing leaks. If you encounter a dishwasher leak, turn off the dishwasher and water supply. Inspect hoses for damage or loose connections. If you notice any signs of leakage, it’s a good idea to address the issue promptly to avoid water damage.
4. Hot Water Issues:
Additional overnight guests put a strain on hot water heaters, leading to potential breakdowns or inadequate hot water. Water overuse can strain your hot water system, especially if it relies on a tank. When you use hot water consistently and at a high volume, the tank has to work hard to keep up with the demand. This can lead to faster depletion of hot water in the tank. Once the hot water is exhausted, you’ll experience cold showers or a lack of hot water until the tank has had time to heat up more water. If your hot water system is consistently struggling to meet your demands, you might want to consider upgrading to a larger tank or a more efficient water heating system. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between your hot water needs and your system’s capacity. For Thanksgiving guests, ensure your water heater is in optimal condition by scheduling a maintenance check before the holiday season. If hot water goes out, reset the water heater and check for any error codes.
It’s always a good idea to make sure that your plumbing system is in good order before the holidays. Damage from plumbing issues can be one of the most costly home repairs but the good news is that this is often preventable.
Warning Signs That a Burst Pipe Is on the Horizon:
- Stains on the wall near pipes
- Discolored water
- Lower water pressure
If You Have a Burst Pipe:
- Shut off your water supply immediately.
- Make sure you know which plumbing company to call in advance. Shafer Services Plus is here for you. You can call us or book appointments online.
Another way to stop massive water damage—install a leak protection system that automatically turns off your water supply and notifies you when a leak is detected. Schedule your whole house plumbing check with Shafer today.
If these tips do not solve your emergency, it’s time to call a plumber. Shafer is here to help!