There's no place like home for the holidays—unless your plumbing isn't working properly. Family members and additional guests gather together to feast and put your plumbing to the test.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of a clogged drain or a backed up toilet.
Preventing clogged drains and toilets
You can be proactive and perform a few actions before the holidays arrive. These actions include:
Check your bathroom drains for trapped hair
A single strand of hair can be easily broken, but there is strength in numbers. A clump of accumulated hair must be cut to be removed from your sink drain. Peer into your bathroom drains and you may see a few strands of hair draped across the bottom of the drain. These hairs are likely suspending a ball of clumped hair, soap, and toothpaste.
To remove the hairball, cut the visible hairs with a pair of scissors and wrap them around a screwdriver or similar object. You will need a firm hold to pull the hairball through the drain opening. If the hairball is small, it may fit between the crossbars of the drain, but if it cannot fit through, you will need to cut it into pieces as you pull.
You should be aware that removing these hairballs is not for the timid. They are smelly and slime covered, so It would be wise to use thin plastic gloves.
After removing the hairballs, invest in hair strainers that fit over your drain openings. Clean them daily as hair accumulates.
Don't use your sinks and toilets for trash cans
There are food and personal hygiene waste products that should never be thrown into your sinks or toilets. These include:
The only items that should be flushed down your toilet are human waste and toilet tissue. Don't flush potentially clogging items such as:
- Clumps of hair
- "Flushable" diapers or baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Paper towels
You may consider offering diaper disposal bags to family members or other guests who bring their babies to visit.
Garbage disposals are not able to fully process all food waste products, so don't toss the following items into your disposal:
- Fibrous vegetables, such as pumpkin flesh and seeds
- Bones, especially poultry bones (Thanksgiving turkey), which shred and splinter in your drain pipe
- Used cooking oil or grease, which will congeal and harden in your drain pipe
- Egg shells, because the inner membrane shreds into clog producing strings
You might also consider checking the "J" shaped drain trap under your sinks.It is designed to trap clog producing materials. All you need to do is loosen the two plastic nuts that secure it on each end. Put a bucket beneath it, because it will be filled with dirty water and smelly sludge. Clean it out thoroughly before replacing it. You may even receive a holiday bonus and find an earring or other lost item inside the trap that may have previously fallen down the drain.
For more information, contact companies like Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc.