The holiday season is notorious for household plumbing problems. Houseguests, family dinners, and copious amounts of holiday cooking all contribute to the increased stress on the average household plumbing system. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, some plumbing companies even experience a 50% increase in service calls!

To help you avoid breakdowns, clogs, and flooding during the holidays (and throughout the rest of the year too!) the experts at Steve’s Plumbing & Share helpful tips your plumber really wants you to know.  

Know Where Your Water Main Is Located

If you don’t know where the main shutoff valve for your household water supply is located, now is the time to find it. Whether you own your home or rent, it’s critical that you know where this valve is to properly handle a pipe leak or a more severe flooding emergency.

You should also know where any other emergency water shut-off valves are located throughout your house, as well as how to use them. If you’re unfamiliar with how to properly turn off a water shut-off valve, ask a plumber for advice. And while you’re at it, it’s never a bad idea to schedule an inspection to make sure your valves are in proper working order.

Never Flush Hygiene Products

The only things that belong in your toilet are toilet paper and human waste. Even if a hygiene product is labeled “flushable,” don’t flush it! These products include:

●        Feminine hygiene products

●        Personal hygiene wipes

●        Makeup wipes

●        Cotton pads

●        Disposable toilet scrubbers

●        Cat litter (yes, people flush this)

None of these products — regardless of what their labels might claim — disintegrate quickly enough to pass through your pipes safely. An accidental flush every now and then shouldn’t cause a major problem, but when you repeatedly flush hygiene items, they can accumulate in the pipes and ultimately cause clogged drains.

Avoid Using Toilet Fresheners

If you’re in the habit of using drop-in toilet fresheners, ditch them. While they might make your toilet water look and smell clean and fresh, they’re actually harmful to your commode.

Freshener tablets contain harsh chemicals that can deteriorate your toilet’s working components over time, which will eventually cause a breakdown. Plus, as the tablets break down, they can get stuck in the toilet’s valve and prevent it from flushing.

Don’t Reach For the Drano

When you’re dealing with slow drains, don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners! Though these products are widely marketed, they’re rarely clear drains completely and they’re not actually safe for your plumbing system.

Drano and other chemical-based drain cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can corrode the interior of your pipes. And if they can corrode your plumbing, that means they’re not safe for you to handle, either. Anytime you’re dealing with slow drains, contact a plumber or drain cleaning specialist. Drain snaking and other pipe cleaning methods are far safer and more effective.

Replace Your Hoses Regularly

If you’re not already in the habit of replacing the hoses on your dishwasher and washing machine, now is the time to start. Water hoses deteriorate silently and usually burst without warning, so your best protection against flooding is to replace them at regular intervals. Most plumbers recommend changing them out every five years.

Got Plumbing Problems? Contact Steve’s Plumbing & Heating

If you’re dealing with household plumbing problems, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating. We specialize in a wide variety of residential plumbing services and serve Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Marshfield, Wausau, and the surrounding areas. To learn more or request a service estimate, give us a call today at 715-421-1800 or send us a message.