The holidays are the time of year when our homes get a real workout. Extra house guests put a strain on showers and toilets, eating larger meals at home add stress to your sink and dishwasher. Plumbers are especially busy this time of year and here are the reasons why.
Here is the bottom line: your garbage disposal is not your garbage can. Homeowners throw turkey parts (think grease and bones) down the drain and tend to scrape plates into the sink, not the garbage can. All of this is really tough on your disposal. According to Roto-Rooter, “Thanksgiving Day is the most common day of the year for garbage disposers to jam and for kitchen sinks to clog. Big meal preparation and a busy kitchen are to blame. The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is Roto-Rooter’s busiest day of the year.”
Bones, coffee grinds, peels and general food bits should not go into your garbage disposal. Here’s a handy tip: keep a large bowl on our counter for scraps when prepping and cleaning up. Throw the contents into your garbage bin or toss it into your compost receptacle. One item that’s okay to throw into your garbage disposal? Lemon peels. They’ll help get rid of disposal stink and sweep away contents.
Hot Water Heaters
Not only is your hot water used often during the holidays, lower temperatures can cause expansion problems and your system may get overwhelmed. If you have an older model, or one that hasn’t been serviced in over a year, be sure to book your plumber to assess your situation. If frequent house guests require lots of hot showers, consider replacing your large hot water tank with a tankless, on-demand system like this one from Rinnai.
Even though newer dishwashers claim that you don’t need to pre-wash your dishes, it’s still a good idea to scrape your plates into your compost bowl then rinse before placing dishes in the dishwasher. Contemporary machines have several filtration systems which are good for catching paper or bits of broken glass. However they still need to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis otherwise it won’t drain properly. To avoid calling the plumber on your dishwasher, do a little DIY and clean out your filters before holiday guests arrive.
Did you know that on average a person uses the toilet 6-8 times a day? If your toilet is already problematic, additional house guests or party guests will only create greater stress for you and your facilities. If you feel you have a toilet issue that you can’t fix on your own, definitely book your plumber today. Be sure to keep a garbage can visible in your bathroom as well so guests aren’t tempted to flush anything that they shouldn’t.
When water freezes inside your home’s pipes, the ice expands and creates cracks within the pipes. According to Roto-Rooter, even the smallest crack can spout over 250 gallons of water in a single day. Here are some quick tips to prevent freezing pipes. If you’re planning on going out of town for the holidays, be sure to set your thermostat no lower than 55′ F. Cover and wrap outdoor pipes and faucets. Inside your home, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around exposed pipes.
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Top image: Graciela Rutkowski