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How to Prepare Your Drains for the Holiday Season

Nov 30, 2018

With all of the holidays and kids home for winter break, many homes will see an increase in houseguests.

Since you were the generous person that offered to host the holidays, you are going to be rewarded with a plumbing system that will see increased usage and possible abuse.

To ensure your drains (and the rest of your plumbing system) do not become clogged or damaged, you must put preventative measures in place now.

Drain Preparation for the Holidays

1) Cover the Shower Drains

When you entertain houseguests, the amount of showers and baths will increase. The more people showering, the more chances there are for hair to enter your drains. So for those that still don’t have drain covers in each bathroom, now is your time to install them.

These drain covers will catch any hair that washes down into the drain, along with other miscellaneous items that may have accidentally been dropped and wind up in the drain. Just remember to empty these drain covers of any hair and debris every so often to allow for proper drainage.

2) Trash Can Knowledge

Every bathroom in the house should have a small waste bin next to the sink or toilet. Why? Because no items should ever go down the drain of your sink, toilet, or shower other than water (waste and toilet paper for toilets).

Make sure every person in the house (especially houseguests that might not know) that all garbage must go in this small trash can and for them to not flush anything. Common items that are flushed that shouldn’t include: cotton swabs, makeup removing wipes, disposable wipes, feminine hygiene products, etc.

The flushing of these items can result in serious blockages that won’t just damage your drain pipes, but also your main sewer line.

3) Keep a Plunger Handy

The worst feeling in the world is clogging the toilet and not having a plunger to dislodge your handy work. If you’re hosting the holidays — don’t do this to your guests. Not only will you stop them from having a panic attack, but you’ll help your plumbing as well.

A clog that isn’t taken care of can result in an even worse blockage, and the wear and tear on the plumbing system can eventually lead to leaks. Keep a plunger handy in every single bathroom. Your guests and plumbing will thank you for it!

4) Keep an Auger for Emergencies

Sometimes plungers don’t always remove clogs and blockages as you planned. This is why you should always have a hand auger for emergency situations like this. This auger will give you a better chance at dislodging a blockage.

The hand auger is one of the most effective tools for removing clogs and is always the preferred option over a chemical drain cleaner. Harsh chemical drain cleaners are advertised to remove buildups and blockages, but do more harm than good to your drains and pipes. If you do purchase a commercial product look for one with enzymes instead.

5) Keep the Garbage Disposal Off Limits

The holidays involve a lot of food (not that we’re complaining about it) and the cleanup of a holiday meal can be a daunting thing to tackle. Houseguests will usually help clear the table and clean the kitchen, but there’s one thing you need to keep off limits — the garbage disposal.

The garbage disposal should only be used for extremely soft foods, but not many people know this (especially those that don’t have disposal in their own homes). Keep others from using this disposal as they may try and shove all of the scraps (or oil or grease) down the drain in an attempt to grind them up and help with clean up.

This could leave you with a clogged disposal and drain that will have you calling your local plumber for an unnecessary trip to your home. (Even though we’d love to see you, we get that you might not want to see us for this reason.)

What You Should Add to Your Wishlist This Holiday Season

How is Your Water Heater Performing?

There are a number of things to look at when it comes to your water heater that could signify it’s time for an upgrade.

The average useful life of a water heater (with a tank) is roughly 6-8 years in San Diego because of our hard water. It could be more you provide necessary maintenance and annual flushes). If yours is a lot older than 10 years old, you could be paying more to heat the water than you should.

Water heaters with tanks can be limiting because once all of the water in the tank has been used, you have to wait for it to refill and reheat in order to use hot water again. Larger families or those with frequent houseguests may run into the problem of running out of hot water regularly. Switching to a tankless water heater will remove the tank and heat water on-demand, providing you, your family, and your houseguests with an unlimited supply of hot water.

In addition to this newfound supply of infinite hot water, your energy bill will decrease as you no longer have to pay for a large tank of water that is constantly being heated 24/7.

Can Your Toilets Handle the Flushes?

Do you find that your toilets are becoming clogged entirely too easy? While this can be a sign of a blockage in the sewer line, it can also mean that your toilets are old and do not have a powerful enough flush anymore.

First things first, contact your local plumber to have your sewer line and toilets inspected. A simple camera inspection can tell you where the issue lies or reassure you that your sewer line is in good condition. If your sewer line is in good shape and it turns out to be your toilets not having enough power, it may be time to replace them.

Toilet replacement isn’t something you do often, let alone think about at all. However, toilets from the 1990s (and even the early 2000s) do not compare to modern day toilets with high flush power and the level of water efficiency they offer. New toilets might be exactly what you need this holiday season (as weird as that is to say).

For more information on the benefits or toilet replacements »

With more houseguests and a larger need to use plumbing fixtures, this time of the year can be especially taxing on your plumbing. For this very reason, you should prepare your home now so you can avoid problems while you’re wrapping presents or setting the table for a family dinner.

If you need help preparing your home’s plumbing or if you need an emergency service in the middle of the holidays, know that Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air will be there for you!

Our professional plumbers know exactly what your home needs to not just survive the holidays, but thrive all year long! Give us a call when you need us — we’d love to help out!

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