Avoid Harming Your Plumbing During Holidays | Terry's Plumbing

How to Avoid Harming Your Plumbing During the Holidays

More food, more people, more possibilities for a plumbing emergency. The holiday season is filled with joy and laughter, but no one will be laughing if the increased traffic in your home causes plumbing trouble. From proper food disposal to water use and preventing clogs, we’ll help you avoid harming your plumbing during the holidays. 

Mind Your Garbage Disposal

With every ingredient used and every dish served this Thanksgiving and through the winter holidays, your garbage disposal will be important, but treat it right. A few tips: 

  • Think Small – Garbage disposals are not literal catch-alls. When in doubt about how to use it, think small. Only grind smaller scraps and waste, like citrus rinds and (most) veggies.
  • Know When to Use the Trash – Sometimes the garbage disposal isn’t the solution. Big food items and those which can interfere with disposal blades are no-nos. Meat, coffee grounds, fibrous vegetables (think stringy, like celery) and bones should be tossed. Another way to avoid harming your plumbing during the holidays? Never put grease in the disposal, as it turns solid as it cools. Chuck it in the trash.

Following a few best practices with your garbage disposal will prevent drain clogs and broken blades, as well as extend the life of the unit. 

Share the Hot Water

Hot water is in constant demand, but it’s not a limitless resource, especially when you have holiday visitors using it. With a little consideration and planning, it’s easy to share your home’s hot water.

  • Allow Downtime Between Showers – Ever hop in the shower to clean up and unwind, only to be startled by a burst of cold water? The water heater is probably tired. Space out shower use to limit this issue, waiting about 15 minutes to let the water heater recharge. If it happens a lot already, consider a tankless water heater.
  • Take Turns Using Hot Water – Your water heater shouldn’t work double time just because you have company. If someone is showering, don’t overwork the unit by running a significant amount of water elsewhere in the house, like in the kitchen while preparing the family dinner. Doing so might cause one user’s water to go cold, Brr!

Sharing is caring. You’ll need hot water for everything from showering to washing dishes this holiday season, so share the resource and give it a break when possible. 

Prevent Toilet Clogs

We can’t begin to tell you how common clogs are this time of year. But it’s simple enough to avoid having any issues by following a few rules.

  • Flush ONLY the Flushable – You’d be surprised at some of the things people try to flush down the toilet. Avoid flushing food items (the toilet isn’t a makeshift garbage disposal), and throw away items that are unsafe. Most bathroom wipes are marked as safe but actually cause clogs, while feminine products must always be thrown in the trash.
  • Don’t Overuse Toilet Paper – While it breaks down to a certain degree, large quantities of toilet paper can cause problems when flushed all at once. Kids especially are prone to overuse, so help them if possible. Of course, major bathroom trips (regardless of age) might require more paper. The solution? Try to flush between wipes. 

Nothing ruins a holiday gathering like a bathroom crisis. Be gentle on your toilet to avoid having to contend with a mess.

Terry’s Plumbing is Your 24/7 Emergency Plumbing Resource

Just because you’re entertaining for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to overwork your plumbing. From using the garbage disposal during meal prep to being conservative with hot water and toilet use, it’s easy to avoid harming your plumbing during the holidays. If problems do arise, however, the team at Terry’s Plumbing is here to help. Call us 24/7 for any plumbing need. We’ll get you back to top performance.