Toilet with a plunger in it.

Holiday Plumbing Tips

It's time to stuff the turkey, hang the mistletoe, and perhaps introduce your bathroom to more guests than it's seen all year. While you enjoy the festivities and spend time with your loved ones, don't let your plumbing slip too far out of mind. Seemingly innocent holiday behaviors can lead to plumbing mishaps that cost you time and money.

To help you enjoy the holidays while protecting your pipes, drains, and faucets, we present the following holiday plumbing tips.

Prepare for the Festivities

Just as you hang the stockings and stock up on drinks before hosting a holiday party, your plumbing requires some preparatory action. Spending a little time and money now will reduce your risk of clogged drains, leaky faucets, overflowing toilets, and other time-consuming events.

The following proactive tips will provide the best protection:

  • If you already notice signs of potential plumbing issues, call a professional plumber to diagnose and solve the problem now. Even a minor leak or drippy faucet can become a serious problem seemingly overnight, especially when you have guests placing a greater demand on your plumbing system.

  • Have your drains cleaned, especially if you have a sink or bathtub that drains slowly. If you already have a partial drain clog, it can turn into backed-up toilets and other inconvenient scenarios at any moment.

  • Make sure your bathroom and kitchen sinks have drain strainers. They're cheap, and they will stop large items from sinking into the drain and causing a backup. You never know when an earring will fall off or a child will use the sink as a ramp for their toy car.

  • Stock all bathrooms with a plunger. Toss in air freshener if you intend to entertain. Make sure these items are out in the open where guests can find them easily.

Know Your Garbage Disposal

Holiday cooking places unusual stress on your sink, even if you're only cooking for a few people. The scraps and liquids going down your drain pose the greatest risk for plumbing mishaps.

Start by inspecting the condition of your garbage disposal right now.

  • Do you notice any foul or unpleasant smells coming from the drain or disposal?

  • Does the disposal easily process scraps when used?

  • Do you notice an unusual sound or tone to the disposal when in use?

If you suspect it's not working at maximum performance, clean it thoroughly or call a plumber to diagnose the problem before the holiday cooking season kicks off.

Once it's time to start cooking and baking those mouthwatering holiday meals, make sure you don't place anything in the disposal that will clog the drain, including:

  • Oil or grease

  • Fibrous foods like celery

  • Coffee grounds, pasta, and other food products that grind into a sludge-like substance

  • Fruit seeds, bones, and other hard food products

It's also important to make sure anything placed in the disposal is processed long enough to grind and wash away the residue thoroughly. Make sure the disposal is activated before dropping items into the drain as well.

Make Trash Cans Convenient

If you don't have trash cans in every room of your home and close to your kitchen sink, invest in some new cans before hosting guests. Most people will throw trash in a can when it's easy to find, but they may drop something down the garbage disposal, flush it down the toilet or place it on a countertop when uncertain. That applies to adults and children, so make the cans plentiful and easy to spot.

Are Your Pipes Winter Ready?

Pipes can crack if the water flowing inside freezes due to low temperatures. Proper installation and protection from the elements are critical, especially for pipes in your attic or crawl space. To prevent expensive bursts that take up time during the holidays, contact Courtesy Plumbing to protect your vulnerable pipes before the coldest weather hits.

Our experienced plumbers are available for holiday emergencies, but preventing mishaps is always easier and less expensive. To schedule a service call or get answers to your plumbing questions, contact us at (626) 774-7167.