Stacy Talks & Reviews: Clogging and More: Avoid Holiday Emergencies with These Plumbing Tips

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Clogging and More: Avoid Holiday Emergencies with These Plumbing Tips

The holidays spell a busy time for you and your home. With guests coming over for Christmas gatherings, the kitchen and the bathroom get more than the usual traffic. While you want everything to be perfect, emergencies involving plumbing can dampen the holiday spirit in more ways than one.

So before you open your doors to the first batch of well-wishers, check your toilets, sinks, drains, and all. Preventive maintenance will save you the trouble of calling the plumber in the middle of a toast. Plus, with the tips below, you know how to respond to a holiday plumbing disaster.

Protect Your Pipes from the Cold 

The cold winter weather can cause problems such as frozen pipes. What happens is pressure builds up inside the pipe and causes it to burst. This can lead to a major leak and serious flooding if left unattended. You can do the following measures to winterize your plumbing:
  • Warm the pipes by keeping the house’s heater on.
  • Let the faucet drip a bit to ease the pressure.
  • Keep the doors of the cabinet that hosts these pipes open for the heat to warm the pipes.
  • Install heat tape to your pipes.
Take Care of Your Drains  

You can prevent clogged drains by treating them once a week. The ingredients for the special formula can be found at home. Some homemade drain cleaners that you can use for actual drain emergencies include the following:

  • Pour one-half cup of baking soda and then a half-cup of vinegar. Wait for an hour, and pour boiling water. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar for a pleasant smell.
  • Mix baking soda and table salt (one-half cup each), and pour it down the drain. Wait for 30 minutes or overnight, and finish it off with boiling water. 
  • Pour one-fourth cup of salt and then the same amount of Borax down the drain. Follow it up with one-half cup of vinegar. Wait for an hour and then pour boiling water. 
Regularly checking that your drains are clog-free helps maintain your pipes during the winter.

Tell Your Guests about House Rules 

House rules are helpful so that guests become more mindful and considerate toward you. Informing them about standard practices in the house helps keep it tidy and in working order, especially the kitchen and the bathroom. E\these are examples of basic etiquette:
  • Putting the proper dishes in the dishwasher
  • Disposing of fruit and vegetable peels properly, not in the garbage disposal unit 
  • Putting down the toilet seat 
  • Turning off the lights
  • Replacing bathroom supplies
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Cleaning after themselves
The last point is critical because flushing anything other than toilet paper can clog the toilet. Tell them to report any clog as soon as possible.

But how do you deal with a clogged toilet as it happens?

Use a toilet plunger. Fit the plunger in the bottom of the bowl, and push it up and down to create a suction. Release. Wait for the water level in the bowl to drop and drain. Don’t flush all the way until you are sure that the clog has been cleared.

Consider a Macerating Pump 

If you have folks staying over for days, expect a tough season for your toilets. You may have to buy a macerator pump that efficiently handles solid material and graywater. It can connect to the shower, bath, or sink, as well.

The standard macerator for homes is easy to install, just like the complete upflush-toilet system it belongs to. You can put this toilet anywhere in the house without the costly plumbing work.

So who is ready for the holiday extravaganza? You are, and your home too.

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