The holidays are upon us and there are a million little things to do, but calling a plumber in the middle of your family dinner shouldn’t have to be one of them. Of course, mishaps happen at any time, but with the influx of visitors and cooking and cleaning and shopping and planning, plumbing usually isn’t something you’ll be thinking about until it’s too late. Luckily, there are a few smart ways to ensure your holidays aren’t ruined by overflowing toilets or clogged drains. Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. There’s a long list here, but we’ll begin with the basics.
Should I Flush This?
The toilet. We all know what it’s for, and the amazing convenience of it, but many of us treat it like a trash can instead of the marvel of modern technology that it is. Products like paper towel and tissues aren’t built to break down in water like toilet paper and can clog not only your toilet, but plumbing and sewers down the line. Dental floss, women’s sanitary products, human hair, and anything made of cotton can also cause some serious back-ups. Cat litter is also a major culprit when it comes to plumbing problems, since not only is the cat waste dried and hard, but the litter itself can turn into a clay-like sludge in your pipes.
Should I Put This Down the Disposal?
Have a garbage disposal in your house? It may seem like it can take anything organic that you can throw at it; the whirring of those stainless steel blades seem to obliterate anything unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. But again, there are limits to what this convenient technology can handle; fibrous foods like onion skins, celery, asparagus, and lettuce, as well as eggshell membranes, can wrap around a garbage disposal’s blades, causing jams. Coffee grounds, grease, pasta and rice also cause clogs, while bones, seeds, fruit pits, and apple cores are all too hard for the blades to breakdown. Make sure to always check your disposal for silverware and other items that can seriously damage the blades, and of course, shut it off before attempting to clear it.
Holiday Horror Prevention
So what can you do when even your best efforts are thwarted and you get that knock on your bedroom door from a horrified houseguest in the middle of the night? For plugged up toilets, plungers can help of course. If you’re finding your sinks or garbage disposal are plugged, hot water may help clear blockages created by grease and other substances. Another way to help your garbage disposal is to always run hot water whenever it’s in use, to move waste through the pipes easily and avoid blockages to begin with.
Still having problems? Stop by and see us at Roto Rooter for Pipe Shield, a great product that helps break down household grease, soap, fat, and detergents. If a clog is too stubborn, we know of some skilled professionals who would be happy to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.