Plumbing issues tend to sneak up on us at the least desirable time – like when you’re cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner for your family and really need your garbage disposal to do its thing or entertaining friends that have come to stay the weekend for Christmas and discover your shower drain is a little ‘bloated’. Nothing puts a damper on a New Years Eve party like sewer smells and a backflowing toilet!
Here are a few quick drain tips to keep in mind for your next big party so these unwanted nuisances are avoided altogether.
Protect your drains.
Be kind to your kitchen sink. The kitchen sink is a vital fixture when preparing a big meal for your loved ones. To avoid a slow, smelly, or clogged kitchen drain remember that if your kitchen sink is not equipped with a garbage disposal, do not treat it, as if it is. Doing so will guarantee a nasty clog forming in your drain pipes.
Respect your garbage disposal. Always turn your water and disposal on before adding anything down the drain. Run cold water for at least 15 seconds after using the disposal to keep certain materials in their solid state. This ensures that everything is grounded up and flushed completely down the main line.
Remember that your garbage disposal is not a garbage can. Never let grease, oil, stringy foods such as banana peels or celery, bones, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit pits and peels, or pasta enter your drain.
Add drain traps. A drain trap is an excellent, little and inexpensive tool that can prevent unwanted buildup in your drains. Remember to clean them out about once a week to keep your drains working efficiently.
Clean your drains regularly. A professional drain cleaning service will thoroughly clear all your drains and eliminate any existing buildup. For this purpose, we highly recommend scheduling a hydro jetting service, an easy, non-invasive, and efficient method of cleaning out your drain pipes and sewer line. It effectively loosens sand, grease, scale, and residue from the inside of your pipes and flushes them out completely.
Maintain all components of your plumbing.
Maintain your water heater. Your water heater has to work extra hard during the winter months, to keep the water warm for you and your guests. To make sure it is working optimally, keep the dial temperature at no higher than 120°F and perform a routine flush to remove the sediment that gathers over time.
Maintain your sump pump. A sump pump is a precautionary mechanism, responsible for directing water out of the sump basin which is usually located on or underneath the lowest level of your home. They are responsible for removing groundwater intrusion during rainy seasons as well as flooding caused by burst pipes.
Regularly maintaining your sump pump includes cleaning it, checking the valve, cleaning the filter, and testing it at least once a year. If you suspect your sump pump needs some attention, you should have it looked at and, if need be, repaired as soon as possible, to ensure your sump pump works appropriately in the case of an emergency situation.
Know your plumbing system.
Knowing the basics about your plumbing system can make your life a lot easier in the face of a plumbing problem and aid in the prevention of one. Some things you should know include:
- Where your water comes from
- Location of your main water shut-off
- How to read your water meter
- Whether or not you have a septic tank
- Location of your clean-out and if you even have one
- How to shut off individual fixtures
- How old are your pipes
- Who to call in case of an emergency
You can find our full guide on the 10 Things You Should Know About Your Plumbing System in our Resource Library.
Following these tips will keep your drains running effectively and avoid unwanted surprises during your next holiday party. But for plumbing emergencies that don’t take a day off, your friends at VIP Sewer and Drain Services are available 24/7!