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Avoiding Holiday Plumbing Problems At Your Home

plumbing issues massachusetts

Few things can dampen (often literally) the spirit of the holiday season quite like a plumbing disaster. Whether your problem originates in the sink, the garbage disposal, or even your guest bathroom, a plumbing emergency can be an inconvenience at best and a costly catastrophe at worst.

10 Tips To Avoid Plumbing Problems

The good news is that you can avoid most holiday plumbing problems by taking some simple precautions. Here are 10 ways to avoid a plumbing disaster in the coming holiday season.

  1. Pour any excess grease from roasting pans into a disposable container and let it congeal; then discard the container in the trash. If that’s not possible, clean up oil and grease with paper towels and discard them.
  2. Install a simple strainer in your kitchen drain to catch food particles and debris before they get stuck in your pipes; install similar screens on bath and shower drains to prevent hair from clogging drains.
  3. If a drain is completely clogged, do not use a drain cleaner — it could produce a large pool of toxic water. Instead, call a plumber.
  4. If you have any plumbing issues, take care of them before company arrives.
  5. Always use enough water in your garbage disposal, and let it run at least 20-30 seconds to take care of stubborn trash. Be careful about what you put in there, to: avoid any food trash that will cause problems, including:
    • Bones
    • Celery, pumpkin or potato flesh, or other fibrous foods
    • Coffee grounds
    • Egg shells
    • Fruit pits
    • Pasta 
    • GREASE!
  6. Make sure that everyone living in your home knows the locations of water shut-off valves and how to use them.
  7. If you will be away from home during winter, set your thermostat to 55 degrees – do NOT shut off the heat completely; this will help you avoid frozen or bursting pipes.
  8. Don’t flush paper towels, feminine products, disposable diapers, cat litter, hair, and other items can clog up your pipes.
  9. To prevent water pipes from freezing — and possibly bursting — insulate pipes that run through an attic, crawl space, exterior walls, or unheated basement.
  10. Use shut-off valves inside your home to turn off the water supply to outside spigots, remove hoses, and turn on the spigots to drain any remaining water from the pipes.

Did you know that W.H. Riley offers plumbing services in southern Massachusetts? Contact us today to learn more.