Get Ready For Holiday Plumbing Emergencies

According to Angie’s List, plumbers are the most searched-for service providers on Thanksgiving. There’s no hard evidence to prove it, but the number of increased visitors often put stress on plumbing systems, and can lead to a Boston plumbing emergency just when you need it least – during a holiday! Here are a few tips to help you avoid plumbing problems during the holiday season.

Drains: If you plan to have a large holiday gathering at your home, make sure your drains are running clearly before your guests arrive. Clogged drains can lead to sink overflows and unpleasant odors at a time when you need your plumbing to be in tip-top shape. Most drain clogs are made from organic matter – either food particles in kitchen drains or hair and soap buildup in the bathroom drains. Drain cleaners you buy in the stores contain lye and other harsh chemicals that can burn skin on contact. We recommend using a drain cleaning product called Bio-Clean. Bio-Clean is an enzymatic drain cleaner that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, but can clear organic matter in your drains. Add Bio-Clean to your drains the night before your guests arrive and your drains will run clear during your big event. We carry Bio-Clean. Please contact us for more information on this product.

Toilets: Toilet clogs usually don’t happen for the same reason that drain clogs do. Toilet clogs are usually the result of too much paper and material in the bowl. Inefficient siphoning can also result in clogs. You can’t really control what your guest do, but you can make sure that your toilet is in good working order before your company arrives. Check the operation of the flapper valve in your toilet and make sure your tank fills completely when you flush it. If you’re concerned about the volume of toilet paper in your bowl, or if your toilet typically doesn’t manage a lot of toilet paper well, consider replacing your premium toilet paper with paper that isn’t as thick to help ensure a proper flush.

Faucets: Faucets can start leaking, and leaks can get worse with increased use. If you have a leaking faucet, address it before your guests arrive. Some leaks can be fixed simply by tightening the connections or sealing joints with Teflon tape, but overtightening connections can actually break the fixture. If your fixture is leaking because it’s broken or cracked, replace it.

In the interest of prevention, check the local shut-off valves for each fixture. If the shutoff doesn’t work, or can’t be turned easily, replace it. Also check your dishwasher connections, including the drain hose to be sure water can enter and exit the appliance freely. As a final precaution, you should know how to shut off the main water valve in your home, and keep the number of your local plumber handy, just in case! In Boston, Boston Standard Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency service, including holiday service. Contact us at (617) 288-2911 anytime, and have a happy holiday season. Friend us on Facebook!