10 Plumber’s Tips to Avoid Christmas Plumbing Problems
Christmas is that time of year for festivities, family and friends, which can only mean one thing…potential plumbing problems! With all the cooking, food, extra people in the house (and not to forget the cold), the potential for blocked pipes, leaks and more is increased.
But never fear, we’re here with our top ten tips to avoid plumbing problems at your house this Christmas…
1. Clean Off Your Plates Before Putting Them In The Dishwasher
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, then it’s ever tempting to just stick your dirty plates straight in. But this can cause your dishwasher all sorts of problems, from a piece of carrot stuck in a pipe to a bit of turkey stuck in your filter. Who wants to be on their knees scraping out leftovers from the bottom of the dishwasher on Christmas Day because it won’t start. Equally, if something clogs a pipe of gets into the filter and you can’t find it, you’ll need to call someone out to fix it, which means no dishwasher for a few days and the added expense of the repairs.
2. Dispose of Leftovers In the Bin, Not Down the Drain
We’ve all done it, I’m sure. It’s time to clear up after that mammoth Christmas Dinner and the urge to scrape off the plates into your sink is overwhelming. It’s so much easier, after all, the plates are headed to the sink anyway. Stop. Take that little extra time to scrape off leftovers into the bin instead. You’ll be thankful for it when you’re not fighting with a blocked sink and calling an emergency plumber on Boxing Day!
If you’re really tempted to empty or rinse off into the sink, then invest in a sink strainer, so you can catch it all and then put it in the bin.
3. Bottle Your Grease, Don’t Drain Dump
Again, tempting as it might be to pour leftover gravy or fats from the turkey down the sink, you’ll end up regretting it. There’s plenty of fat in a Christmas dinner, but once you pour it down your drain it will harden and cause build up, which will eventually clog the drain.
Instead, use spare plastic containers or used packaging and pour the fat into these. Once hardened you can dispose of them in the bin. Again, there’s a bit more hard work involved, but much less than calling out an emergency plumber on boxing day.
4. Remind Your Guests
It’s worth reminding any guests you may have over the festive season that toilets are for waste and toilet paper only. You loo is likely to be working a little harder than usual and the last thing you need is someone putting something down there that’s going to cause a problem. Consider putting up a sign reminding guests that things like sanitary towels, cleansing wipes, facial pads, cotton buds, paper towels and cigarette butts should not be flushed.
5. Make It Easy For Your Guests
If reminding them isn’t enough, then make it really easy by putting a bin in the bathroom. If there isn’t a bin then the temptation to flush it is always there, and where else are they going to put things? Prevent blockages by providing a bin so that guests can dispose of unwanted items discreetly.
6. Know What Goes In The Waste Disposal
If you happen to have a waste disposal unit on your sink, then make sure you know what can and can’t go down it. Many people treat this device as a magic tool that can eliminate any kind of waste. But it can’t. There are many things that can cause serious damage to your unit as well as clog your drains on the way. The following items should not go down your drain: stringy, tough vegetables, animal bones, fat, grease, oil, rice, pasta, breads, eggshells, paper, metals or plastics.
7. Don’t Rush To Start The Dishwasher
It may be tempting to load up the dishwasher and set it going whilst you continue to clear and rinse pots, ready for the next cycle, but this can end up causing you more work rather than saving you time. The dishwasher and your sink will generally use the same drain, so if you’re pouring anything into the sink or using a waste disposal unit at the same time as using the dishwasher, it may end up pushing the waste back up into the dishwasher’s cleaning cycle, or, even worse, if you end up clogging the drain, then running the dishwasher could cause the water to back up and flood your kitchen.
8. Wait 10-15 Minutes Between Showers
Yes, it may be a scramble for the bathroom Christmas morning if you have people staying with you over the festive period, but spare a thought for your poor drains. Waiting for 10-15 minutes will give your drains the chance to clear out, so there isn’t a danger of them clogging up with the sudden over use. It will also ensure that your hot water supply is replenished and none of you are taking an icy Christmas shower. It’s also worth investing in a strainer to catch all the additional hair and grime from the extra people.
9. Use Insulation To Prevent Frozen Pipes
Let’s face it, it’s cold at Christmas, but whilst you’re nice and toasty by an open fire, your pipes may be getting very icy. Make sure any exposed pipes are insulated so that they don’t crack or even burst and cause you a Christmas disaster. You should also ensure any outside hoses are disconnected as the water in them can freeze and back up into your pipes, causing cracks and bursts.
10. Have A Plumber’s Number To Hand
Be prepared this Christmas by having the number of a reputable plumber to hand, who will be able to come out to you in an emergency. This obviously doesn’t help you avoid a Christmas plumbing emergency, but it does mean you’ll be prepared and able to move quickly should one arise.
You may want to have a list of 3 plumbers who you know are local to you and are available over the Christmas period.
Well, there you have it. My top tips for having a plumbing problem free Christmas. If something does happen to rear its ugly head over the Christmas period; be it a blocked drain or a misbehaving boiler, then call us on 07917 776549.
Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year!