How to Enjoy Stress-Free Plumbing During the Holidays
The holiday season is a time of joy, festivities, and gatherings with loved ones. While you’re busy spreading cheer, it’s essential to ensure that your home’s plumbing is ready for higher usage. Preventative maintenance doesn’t have to be a hassle, though! Follow these easy plumbing tips to keep your San Francisco, CA, home running smoothly all season long.
Practicing Mindful Disposal Use
From hosting guests to preparing home-baked goods for holiday parties, your kitchen may get significantly more foot traffic at the end of the year. Caring for appliances, particularly your garbage disposal, is key to keeping your cooking environment running smoothly. Your garbage disposal is a powerful and convenient tool, but it has its limits.
Items that should NEVER go down the garbage disposal include:
- Pits, seeds, and coffee grounds.
- Potato peels and shells.
- Grease, fats, and other oils.
- Starchy foods like rice, pasta, and oats.
- Fibrous foods like celery, banana peels, rhubarb, corn husks, and asparagus.
As a general rule of thumb, only soft foods and liquids should go down the garbage disposal. Many food scraps can be composted and used as plant food and fertilizer.
Going Gentle on the Bathroom Fixtures
The busier your home, the busier the bathrooms, and the higher the risk of plumbing trouble. To avoid pipe damage, clogs, and water backup, remind guests to never flush bathroom wipes, paper towels, cotton balls, or excess toilet paper.
Make sure every bathroom has a trash can available for responsible waste disposal. Consider leaving friendly reminders hanging on the wall or sitting on the countertop while guests are visiting.
Hot Water Heater TLC
One of the last things you want to run out of during the holiday season is hot water. Maintaining your water heater and managing hot water usage is the best way to ensure reliable hot showers and tap water. You may also want to adjust the water temperature to increase energy efficiency.
Flushing the tank to remove sediment will prevent buildup and keep your water heater in optimal condition. Depending on your comfort level and tools, you may opt to flush the water heater yourself. Otherwise, schedule a service with a plumber to flush and clear out the sediment.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Even in relatively mild San Francisco winters, cold snaps can hit at any time. Homeowners should be proactive to prevent pipe freezing which can lead to water damage and expensive repairs.
Here are some steps to prevent frozen pipes:
- Insulate outdoor pipes and any exposed sections of pipes.
- Allow faucets to drip during cold nights.
- Open cabinet doors for warm air circulation.
Even a few hours of freezing temperatures can lead to a plumbing disaster, so it’s always better to be prepared.
Being Cautious with Grease
Grease is one of the most common causes of kitchen drain clogs, but it’s easily preventable. No matter how tempting, never pour kitchen grease down the drain. It can solidify and lead to pipe clogs that require professional removal. Instead, let the grease cool and store it in a designated container to be reused or disposed of in the trash.
Managing Your Washing Machine
If you are tackling a mountain of holiday laundry, space out loads to avoid overwhelming your washing machine. Check the hoses for any signs of wear and tear and replace them if needed to prevent leaks. Using a high-efficiency detergent can also help reduce water usage and promote environmentally friendly practices.
To keep the machine clean for guests, use a washer cleaner or run an empty cycle with vinegar or baking soda to remove residue, mold, and detergent buildup. Be sure to check and clean the lint filter after each load to prevent hazardous buildup.
Knowing the Location of Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve
The main water shutoff valve is your home’s first line of defense in a plumbing emergency. Being aware of its location empowers you and your guests to act swiftly in case of a water-related issue, such as burst pipes, leaks, or other plumbing emergencies.
Be sure to educate guests on the importance of knowing where the main water shutoff valve is so that they can act quickly in an emergency. Clear and visible labeling of the shutoff ensures that anyone in the household can locate it. Make sure that the label is visible and intuitive so that it can be identified easily, even in stressful situations.
Scheduling a Pre-Holiday Plumbing Check
Consider scheduling a pre-holiday plumbing check with Cabrillo. Our experts can inspect your plumbing system, address any potential issues, and ensure everything is in optimal condition for the festive season. Take the proactive step of investing in the longevity and efficiency of your plumbing infrastructure.
Make the Most of Your Plumbing This Holiday Season with Cabrillo
Don’t let plumbing worries overshadow your holiday plans. Take proactive steps by maintaining your home’s plumbing system and scheduling a pre-holiday plumbing check with Cabrillo. Our experts will inspect your plumbing system, address any potential issues, and ensure everything is running smoothly.