Easter Holiday Plumbing Tips and Advice
Easter is one of the busiest seasons for plumbers. Having a number of guests in your home for an extended period can put a great deal of pressure on your plumbing system.
Here are some holiday plumbing tips and tricks to help keep your plumbing system flowing smoothly over the busy holiday weekend.
The Garbage Disposal:
Your garbage disposal unit is your first line of defense against plumbing problems and stoppages. Having a house full of guests can really test your garbage disposal unit.
The first thing you must do is clean out your garbage disposal unit before your guests arrive. The best thing to use is ice cubes, with some lemon peel added to eliminate unpleasant odors.
Always turn on the faucet before you put run the garbage disposal. Use cold water only – hot water simply melts grease and then it can harden and build up again in the pipes. Scrape all food off plates before placing them in the sink or in the dishwasher. Never pour grease down the disposal, and don’t flush fibrous vegetable skins – they can ruin the unit’s motor. Allow the cold water faucet to run for a minute after you have stopped running the disposal.
Here’s a tip from one of our top master plumbers: glass is the best way to clean out your garbage disposal unit. The broken glass cleans out the unit, sharpens the blades, and the flushed glass also scrapes away buildup from the inside of your pipes.
Keeping the Bathroom In Good Order
Not every guest will necessarily go into the kitchen, but count on it that every guest will visit your bathroom – more than once. The bathroom is the first place to take care of if you want to be kind to your house guests.
- First, remove all paper towels from the bathroom. If there is no toilet paper available, your guests might reach for any paper towels visible. It never hurts to post a simple sign: “Toilet paper only in toilet”.
- The next thing to do is make sure all the toilets and rains are flowing smoothly without any stoppages building up. Pour some Drano or other plumbing solution down every drain. It might be a very good idea to have a plunger handy if anything develops over the weekend. Examine all shower and sink drains. If they are not fitted with a protective screen, install these before your guests arrive. This will prevent soap, paper, and other materials falling into the drains and causing stoppages. Ask your house guests to allow 15 minutes between showers. This will allow water to clear and heat up again. Place clean trash cans in each bathroom so gusts have somewhere to throw paper towels, Q-tips, and other things that should never be flushed down the toilet.
Check Faucets For Leaks
If faucets are starting to become leaky, the best thing to do is replace the washers in each faucet. Remember to turn off the water at the source before removing the faucet. Tell your guests to turn off faucets gently – this reduces pressure on the washers. We often advise our customers to post a sign saying “Please turn all faucets off gently”.
Check the Water Heater:
With a house full of guests, there will be a lot of demands placed on your water heater. Check that it is working okay, and there are no leaks or other problems. It is a good idea to turn up the temperature on the water heater. We suggest turning the thermostat up to 120 degrees, but no higher – a burned guest is an unhappy guest.
Alert Your Guests to the Location of Water and Gas Shutoff Valves.
As each guest arrives and you give them the grand tour, show them where the shutoff valves are located to shut off water and gas. This is useful in case of an earthquake, a burst pipe, or any other holiday emergency.
Read Your Water Meter To Alert You to A Leak
Before your guests arrive, read your water meter one evening before your family goes to sleep. Then read it the next morning. It should not be any higher than it was last night, since no water was being used while the family slept. If the meter reading has changed overnight while you have been sleeping and not using any water, it shows you that you have a slow leak, possibly not detectable by humans. Fix the leak before your guests arrive.
Getting Emergency Plumbing Services on a Holiday
Plumbers obviously charge more to come out and take care of a plumbing issue on a holiday. If you are experiencing a real emergency, you will have no choice but to call a plumber. Keep your plumber’s emergency telephone number handy – put it on the fridge.
If you follow the above advice, you should not need to call out a plumber on the holiday weekend. Wishing all our customers a safe and happy holiday.