It's the most wonderful time of the year for friends and loved ones to get together to celebrate the holidays. While these gatherings bring merriment and joy, unfortunately they can also bring trouble for your home's plumbing because of the increased pressure on your systems. In fact, the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for plumbers.

Don't let a plumbing emergency ruin your holiday festivities! Check out these tips to help keep your home's plumbing running smoothly over the holidays and beyond.

Top Tips to Prevent Holiday Plumbing Issues

1. Repair Lingering Problems

One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your plumbing is to take care of any potential problems ahead of time. Small issues like a leaky faucet or running toilet can quickly turn into much bigger problems when left unresolved. They can also significantly elevate your water bill during peak holiday usage. Make sure to fix these issues while they are still small!

2. Put a Trash Can in All Guest Bathrooms

If your guests don’t see a trash can in your bathroom, the next place they’re going to look to dispose of items is the toilet bowl. Having a trash can handy will help keep non-flushable items out of your plumbing system, such as wipes, tissues, hygiene products, disposable hand towels, and more.

3. Keep a Plunger Handy

A holiday nightmare: a house full of guests, a clogged toilet, and no way to fix it! A plunger won’t always solve all drain clogs, but it just might save you from having to call a plumber on a holiday. You can use your plunger when you’re in a pinch and then have a professional come out to fully clear your drains after the holiday is over.

4. Use Sink Strainers

Small items like hair and food scraps may seem like they go down the sink easily at first, but they quickly accumulate in your drains and cause plumbing blockages. A simple, inexpensive sink strainer goes a long way in preventing this build-up. Use them in the kitchen sink and all showers/tubs.

5. Opt for Cloth Hand Towels Over Disposables

Disposable hand towels sound like a great idea, but unfortunately they often end up in the toilet because many guests (especially children) don’t know they aren’t flushable. Avoid major toilet clogs by keeping disposable towels/napkins out of the bathroom.

6. Limit Garbage Disposal Usage

The last thing you need is a backed up sink while the holiday meal dishes are piling up. Garbage disposals can easily become clogged while cooking large meals because items that are not suited for the garbage disposal tend to find their way into the sink – especially when well-meaning loved ones try to help with cleanup. Try to opt for the trash can instead when possible. If you do use the garbage disposal: put food in gradually, keep the water running, and always avoid non-disposal safe foods (like egg shells, pasta/rice, fibrous vegetables, seeds, bones and coffee grounds).

7. Avoid Pouring Oil or Grease Down the Drain

Oils are a big no-no for drains and garbage disposals! Disposing of cooking oil or grease in your sink can easily block your whole plumbing system. Instead, let oil and grease congeal in a container and then dispose in the trash can.

8. Be Mindful of Hot Water Usage

With more people in your home, your hot water heater will be taxed more heavily than usual. Try to limit or spread out usage of your appliances (like dishwashers and washing machines) and take shorter showers to avoid sending your hot water heater into overdrive.

9. Insulate Your Pipes

Frozen and/or burst pipes are a major issue any time, but especially when you have a house full of people. Insulating your pipes can help keep them from freezing in extremely cold weather. A professional plumber can prepare your pipes and crawl spaces ahead of time by winterizing them.

10. Have Your Plumbing Systems Inspected

Above all, your best bet for preventing a plumbing disaster is to have a professional plumber inspect your systems before the holiday. A plumbing inspection will alert you to any red flags ahead of time, and the plumbing technician can lend expert advice for how to keep everything running smoothly with a house full of guests. 

Varsity Home Service can help you get your plumbing systems ready for the holidays! If you are interested in scheduling a plumbing inspection or you find yourself in need of plumbing repairs this winter, our team of expert plumbing technicians can tackle any service you may need. Give us a call at (631) 305-2227 or click here to schedule your plumbing service online today.