Holiday Plumbing Maintenance Reminder

Whether you have relatives coming from here, there and a little bit of everywhere, you’re traveling, or plain and simply, you have kids – The holiday season is an experience.  It’s a ride worth every smile, laugh, hug and great meal that comes from it.

The holidays can be stressful enough, the last thing anyone wants is a problem with their home, especially if it’s still got that “new home” smell from a recent possession date.

Extra company means more showers or baths, more toilet flushing and bigger meals, to name a few of the big changes going on at home; extra company can sometimes mean extra maintenance on your home’s plumbing system.

Garburator Maintenance

If the family festivities are taking place chez vous this year, you may find your garburator working some overtime.

Some keys to using a garburator is to remember to only grind biodegradable food matter, no household garbage or foods that won’t break down once they’ve passed your sink.  Always be mindful of how much food is going in there to not overwork the appliance and be sure to have warm tap water running the whole time to help flush it down the drain properly.

There are food items that are not recommended for going through a garburator, and other that should be handled cautiously.  These are some of the “holiday favourites” to be mindful of in using your garburator:

  • Potato peels: Proceed with caution on grinding them and go slowly, the water mixes with the starches that leach during grinding and can jam up the appliance with that glue-like substance.
  • Vegetables: Avoid grinding fibrous vegetables through the garburator (ie: onion skins, celery, corn husks or artichokes); the fibers can get tangled up around the blades of the garburator and jam up the appliance or even clog the drain.
  • Bones (from meat): Small poultry or fish bones can be great to grind through (including egg shells) your appliance; they can be a great grit and scour to clean the inside of your unit.  Do not grind beef, pork, or other large meat bones.
  • Rice & Pasta: It’s recommended to dispose of these into the garbage; water causes them to expand and it can lead to a clog in your drain over time.
  • Grease & Fats: They are not biodegradable at all, and can lead to all kinds of blockages down your plumbing line and with the garburator (Store it, don’t pour it)

Toilet Talk

The more we eat, the more we…Flush the toilet of course!

Clogged plumbing lines are not covered under new home warranty, and a toilet that won’t flush is not considered emergency service.  The weeks surrounding the holidays can see short staffing with service companies, which can sometimes see a less than joyful resolve on getting a toilet that doesn’t flush repaired quickly.

If your toilet won’t flush, and it’s for sure not plugged, try lifting the lid of the toilet tank to check if the chain still attached between the flapper (the rubber piece down in the bottom) and the handle itself.  If not, it can easily be reattached and the toilet should flush again.

Shower & Tub Drains

More showers and baths in the home mean more hair trying to go through the drains in your tub or shower, and longer hair tends to not travel as nicely down.

New home warranty does not cover clogged drains, and it’s important to regularly clean your drain and prevent a slow draining tub or shower from souring the morning routine.

Hot Water Tank Maintenance

More bodies in the home means more demand on your hot water system for bathing, and maybe even such things as laundry.

If over the holidays, there seems to be no hot water or it’s not the temperature you’re used to; we strongly suggest checking a few things before calling for service:

  1. Check that your hot water tank is working.
    If it is not, please check that the exhaust and intakes outside are free and clear and try resetting the hot water tank (these instructions can be found in your homeowners’ manual)
  2. Once you’ve confirmed that it is working (or have reset it if it wasn’t), give your tank some time to warm up the water and try using it again. Give it about an hour, and see if there’s a positive increase to the temperature of the water.

The time to call for service is if your hot water tank is still not warming after 1-2 hours (despite a reset if needed) and no use of hot water in the home.  Under normal circumstances, our plumbing partners at KB Heating and Plumbing do treat an absence of hot water as a plumbing emergency in terms of your new home, however, it’s not considered warranty if it’s that your hot water tank simply couldn’t keep up with demand, and it could lead to a billable service visit.

This information is intended to be a guideline only, and is not a replacement to professional advice or service from a certified plumber.  For more information on the maintenance of your plumbing system, contact us here at the office and we are always happy to get specific information for your home and/or situation.

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