With the primary holiday season upon us, many homes see an increase in their drain usage this time of year due to things like holiday parties, visiting guests from out of town and more. Homeowners in these settings should be taking care of their drains in a few basic ways, ensuring they don't succumb to the additional strain they may be placed under.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we're happy to not only offer the very best drain cleaning and related plumbing services to clients throughout Salt Lake City, but also to provide tips and expertise for those looking for a bit of additional drain protection for their holiday or New Year's parties. What are some basic tactics you can take to keep your drains in great shape even if your home will be crowded this winter? Here are several.
The garbage disposal is one of your best friends during holiday meal preparation, but only if it's used correctly. First, never ever put items down your drain that are not biodegradable or don't break down with water (for example, chicken bones). Second, be sure to run plenty of cold water when using the disposal; this will ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Third, use chemical drain cleaners sparingly if at all; these products can damage your pipes over time. Fourth, try to scrape plates and bowls clean before putting them in the disposal; this will help keep it from getting clogged.
As long as you're following these basic recommendations, you should be using the garbage disposal as often as possible to help ease the load on your drains. Anytime you can avoid sending food waste and scraps down the drain, you're doing your home a favor.
If your home is full of guests for a short period of time, one way to reduce the strain on your various drains is to shorten your showers. Instead of taking a nice, long shower each morning, consider taking a short one during which you wash all the critical areas and then turn off the water before going any further.
This will have a significant effect on how full your drainage system is at any point in time over the course of a day. In some situations, the homeowner will ask all guests to limit their showers to just 5-7 minutes or so in order to keep the drainage load at a manageable level.
As always, be mindful of what you're flushing down your toilet. If it's not something that will dissolve and break down with water (like toilet paper), don't put it in. If it's not something that will break down over time (like feminine hygiene products), don't put it in. If it's big, don't put it in.
And if any guests are present in your home, it's important to make sure they're also mindful of what they're flushing down the toilet. There's nothing worse than realizing that your drains were clogged by guests' flushable wipes or other items.
If you know weeks in advance that you're having guests over for the holidays or the New Year period, take some time to test your drainage system. This will help you identify any potential issues before they become a problem. If you do find that one or more of your drains is clogged, take care of the issue as soon as possible to avoid any additional headaches.
There are some very simple testing methods you can use right in your own home, and most of them won't take more than a few minutes. If you're unsure about how to test your drainage system or what to do if it's not working properly, be sure to contact a professional plumber for assistance.
Another guest-related area to think about: Upgrading your plunger, or simply purchasing one if you don't already have one. This is especially important if your home typically doesn't see a lot of guests, as the extra strain on your drains will be greater.
There are a few different types of plungers you can purchase, but the most important thing is to make sure it's a good fit for your sink or toilet. If it's not, you'll find yourself exerting a lot of extra effort and perhaps even injuring yourself without getting any result. If you're not sure which type of plunger is right for your drain, be sure to check with a professional plumber or home improvement expert to help guide you in the right direction.
Especially if you know any of your upcoming guests are especially hairy, using traps to catch as much of the hair as possible before it goes down the drain is a good way to protect your drainage system. There are a few different types of traps you can use, including those for your sinks and those for your shower drains.
When it comes to the shower, it's important to make sure you have a good trap that will catch all of the hair before it has a chance to go down the drain. This is especially important if you have a guest taking a shower who is exceptionally hairy. If you're not sure how to install or use a shower drain trap, be sure to consult with a professional plumber before using one.
By following these simple tips, you can reduce the strain on your various drains during this busy holiday season. Remember that it's not just about limiting the amount of water you're putting down them; it's also about limiting the items you're putting down them.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber in Salt Lake City today.
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