Do you smell what I smell? Holiday houseguests can do a number on pipes & drains. Try these tips to keep things running smoothly. (With Master Plumber Joe Giannone)
It’s that time of year again. Time to throw open your doors and welcome friends and extended family — those you love to see, those you’re OK with, and even those you’d rather have stayed home.
It’s the holiday season, so you can put up with anything for a couple of days, right? But, can your plumbing?
Holiday celebrations are the cause of some of the nastiest and upsetting plumbing disasters I’ve seen. Get 10 people in a house for a few days, everyone cooking, eating, drinking and making merry, and sometimes the unthinkable happens. But a little prep before the in-laws arrive can go a long way towards keeping disaster at bay. Here are a couple of DIY tips that can help.
Take Care of Your Drains
Your sinks, showers and toilets are going to get a workout over the next few days. No one likes to think about the gross buildup that happens in your drainpipes, but it’s real, and it can ruin your holidays.
Before your guests arrive, take an unbent wire hanger with the hook still in place, and run it into your shower and sink drains, using the hook to pull any hair or debris out of the drain. Then, boil a few pots of water and add a heaping helping of salt to each. Slowly pour one pot down each drain in your house. The salt and hot water will melt and dissolve buildup in your pipes.
If you’d like something stronger, try a natural, biological drain cleaner like BioOne. Stay away from chemical drain cleaners if at all possible.
Finally, if any of your drains don’t have a drain strainer, outfit it with one to keep debris like hair and food waste out of your pipes.
Hide the Wipes
Please believe me when I say, flushable wipes are anything but. A lot of things are “flushable,” meaning they can be made to go down your toilet. Those things include your kid’s plastic toys and even golf balls, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for your pipes. If every holiday houseguest decides to flush wipes down your toilets, I can practically guarantee you’ll have an overflow.
It may be a touchy subject, but make sure everyone knows what should not be flushed. If you don’t want to bring it up over dinner, consider posting a polite sign in your bathrooms, along with a convenient trashcan.
The holidays are stressful enough without adding a clogged drain or sewer overflow to the mix. Taking the time to prepare for holiday houseguests can save you a lot of headaches and make the visit as pleasant as possible.
If you would like more information about maintaining your home’s plumbing, visit www.calljg.com or call us at (215) 375-7134.