In many families in Ambler, one of the best highlights of the holiday season is gathering together with family for food and laughter. Major holiday gatherings can also put a bit of a strain on your plumbing system. There’s all that food, all those family members, and maybe not enough time to follow through on the plumbing best practices that can protect your pipes. If a clog has been brewing for a little while, sometimes it’s the holiday mess that

Common Causes of Holiday Clogs

These are some of the most common causes of holiday plumbing problems:

  • Putting too much in the garbage disposal at once and not flushing the disposal properly.
  • Putting the wrong things into the garbage disposal.
  • Attempting to flush foodstuffs down the toilet.
  • Putting non-flushable items, including disposal wipes, down the toilet.
  • Not cleaning the drains and garbage disposal regularly.

What can you do to prepare your home’s plumbing for the holiday season and prevent a clog that can put a real damper on the festivities? Here are some simple steps.

Respect the Garbage Disposal

Although we would all like it to be, the garbage disposal is not a magic genie. It cannot handle everything that we would like it to. If you try to overwhelm the garbage disposal during the holidays then you will end up with a mess. Here are some of the things you should not try to put down the garbage disposal:

  • Turkey grease, or other oils or grease
  • Corn husks and cobs
  • Citrus peels
  • Potato peels
  • Any starchy foods
  • Coffee grounds
  • Rice
  • Non-food items, like bones

When you do use the garbage disposal, be sure to run it for several seconds longer than usual. Rinse it out frequently with water. And try not to put too much in it, even when you’re rushing to cook your holiday meal.

Prepare the Bathroom

If you still have some time before your holiday celebrations, it is a wise idea to prepare the bathroom for guests. If possible, look into the following:

  • Low-flow problems: You might be used to having to flush your toilet multiple times, but your guests will not be. If you have problems associated with low water flow or a low-flow toilet, it may be wise to get a plumber to handle them before your guests arrive.
  • Handle problems: Does the handle chain come unattached frequently? Do you have to pull the handle a certain way to get it to work? This can create some embarrassment for your guests or even plumbing problems if they have to figure out how your toilet works.
  • Garbage bins: If there are no women in your home you might not be used to needing a separate, closable garbage bin right next to the toilet. This is essential for your female guests. It will also help prevent people from flushing things they shouldn’t down the toilet because the bin is right there and closeable, so they will feel they have more privacy with whatever they need to dispose of.
  • Hair traps: Will people be staying the night and potentially showering in your bathroom? Then it is a wise idea to add a hair trap to the shower drain. It will be useful year-round, keeping your hair out of the drain and preventing a clog. But it’s especially important if many more people than normal will be shedding a bit of hair with their shower. Clogs are more likely to develop in shower drains around the holidays too.
  • Hand towels and soap: It’s the holidays! Make the bathroom a little more welcoming with holiday-appropriate towels and soaps. Maybe even throw in a scented candle.

Respect the Toilet

Much like the garbage disposal, the toilet also deserves a little extra respect during the holiday season. You shouldn’t be flushing any food or non-waste items down there. Even “flushable” wipes are not a good idea and could cause a clog. The same goes for things like q-tips, cotton balls, wipes, diapers, and other personal care products.

If there are young children coming to the event at your home, it might be worthwhile to explain to them that they shouldn’t be putting anything unusual down the toilet, especially if you’ve had problems before. Do you have a holiday plumbing problem? If you’re in Ambler then the experts at PlumbPRO Services can help. Reach out to us right away.