The holiday season is upon us!  One of the best parts of the holiday season is of course celebrating with loved ones.  However, filling your home with guests can lead to a strain on your home’s plumbing system.  Between over-worked water heaters for those extra showers, or garbage disposals for large meal clean-up, and clogged drains due to increased toilet usage, your plumbing is sure to feel the impact. 

Luckily, there are steps you can take now to prepare your plumbing for the busy season ahead.  Here are the top 3 plumbing issues during the holidays, and how to prevent them:

1. Clogged Toilets.

This is by far the #1 issue we service over the holiday season.  If your toilet has any “quirks” that require a special remedy (such as having to giggle the handle to get it to flush), it’s time to get those problems addressed. 

If you have a toilet that continues to run after the normal flush cycle, it is typically due to one of the following issues:

  • The flapper that seals the water in the tank is leaking/improperly sealing.
  • There is too much water in the tank, causing overflow water to leak down into the bowl.  The float height (water level) needs to be adjusted.
  • The refill tube is constantly pumping water into the bowl due to it being too long, or improperly positioned.

We recommend stocking your bathroom with toilet paper that breaks down easily (avoid the extra fluffy kind and “flushable” wipes) and a quality plunger.  The last thing you want is a toilet paper clog to put a damper on your gathering.

2. Failing Water Heaters.

We all know how frustrating it can be to take a cold shower!  Now isn’t that the last thing you’d want for your guests?  From no hot water, not enough hot water, to water leaking, to low water pressure or strange noises, there are several water heater related issues that could pop up.

Consider turning up the water heater temperature (although not exceeding 120 degrees) to increase the hot water supply.  Don’t forget to turn this back down after the holidays to conserve energy.  Another tip is to drain your tank once a year to flush any sediment out of the unit.

If you have an older unit, it’s best to have a plumber inspect it to ensure it is in good working order.  If you’re in need of a replacement, consider tankless water heaters, as they provide instant and unlimited hot water.  To learn more about tankless water heaters, click here.

3. Malfunctioning Garbage Disposals or Clogged Kitchen Sinks.

After a big family feast, it’s all hands-on deck to get through cleaning the dishes.  But with guests helping to clean, they may not be as familiar with what should go down the garbage disposal.  Remember to avoid throwing hard food, expanding food, grease/cooking oils, or non-food related items, such metal, down.  Each time proper waste is disposed of, you must run the unit long enough, as well as use enough water, to adequately rinse and chop away the waste.

To learn more about Garbage Disposals and proper usage, check out our blog post, “Garbage Disposal Plumbing Myths, Debunked.”

Bonus Tip: Check for Red Flags.

Take a few minutes to look over your home to ensure you don’t spot anything unusual.  Check for cracks, small leaks, or any sign of water damage (such as wet or soft spots on the ceilings or floors).  Make sure to know where your main water valve is located, so in the event of an emergency time isn’t wasted trying to locate it.

On behalf of everyone at Plumbing Experts, we’d like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season! 

If you are in need of any plumbing repairs or services, please give us a call at Palm Beach (561) 279-2460 or Broward (954) 786-0477 or contact us here.  We will even be available for you during the holidays if any emergencies arise.