Family carving pumpkins.

Protect Your Home From These Holiday Hazards

Holidays are a time for family and friends to gather together and celebrate—but sometimes those celebrations can wreak havoc on your home. Keep reading to learn how you can protect your home from any disaster the season can bring.

Common Holiday Plumbing Problems

Valentine’s Day

Whether it’s due to a date night gone wrong or simply an unlucky accident, rings falling down a sink drain or getting flushed down the toilet is one of the more common Valentine’s Day plumbing issues you may experience.

If your ring has fallen down the drain, follow these tips to retrieve it:

  1. Immediately shut off any running water. Water could push your ring further through your plumbing and make retrieving it impossible.

  2. Place a bucket under your sink’s p-trap (the curved section of piping you’ve probably seen under your sink).

  3. Find the access plug or cleanout on the p-trap. This will look like a little cap that you can unscrew on the bottom section of the curve. If your plumbing doesn’t have a cleanout (older homes may not), skip to the last step.

  4. Pull out the access plug. This will release a lot of water and anything else that may be in your sink into the bucket below. Let everything drain out, then search for your ring in the plumbing.

  5. Replace the plug and run water down the sink to ensure you sealed everything up tightly.

  6. Contact a professional. If you can’t find your ring or if your plumbing doesn’t have a cleanout, it’s time to call the pros. They can use specialized equipment to help you remove your p-trap and locate your ring.

St. Patrick’s Day

Leaks are an issue for almost every household, but did you know that leak detection also started one of the most famous St. Patrick’s Day traditions in the United States?

In 1962, some plumbers were working with green dye to find a leak in the municipal water supply system of Chicago, Illinois. When they returned to the union hall, the business manager saw their green-dyed shirts and had the brilliant idea to dye the river. Every year since then, the secret formula has been closely guarded and used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.

Take a page from the history books and use St. Patrick’s Day as a chance to find leaks in your toilet—simply place some green dye in the toilet tank and leave it alone for about 10-15 minutes. When you return, if there’s any coloring in your toilet bowl, you’ll have found your leak!

Easter

Easter eggs are a fun holiday tradition. But once you’ve painted them, where do they go? There’s a lot of back and forth on whether eggshells are good or bad for your drains, but the truth of the matter is that the membrane of the eggshell can stick to or wrap around the impellers in your garbage disposal—making it difficult for the impellers to break up food along the outer grind ring.

A better option to dispose of eggshells is to compost them and let the nutrients (and brightly colored shells) help your garden grown more beautiful!

4th of July

The Fourth of July means cookouts and family BBQs, but those BBQ foods are fatty, starchy, and often come with bones or seeds that need to be disposed of once the meal is over. Make sure you’re disposing of all your leftovers in the proper places to prevent unnecessary clogs and damage to your garbage disposal.

Halloween

This fan-favorite holiday brings fun costumes, excessive amounts of candy, and spooky jack-o-lanterns—but it can also lead to clogged plumbing!

When scoping out the inside of pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween traditions, make sure you’re collecting the guts in a bowl to dispose of in the trash. The pulp of a pumpkin is sticky and stringy—both of which are a bad match for your garbage disposal’s impellers.

Thanksgiving

Like Independence Day, Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s centered around food. If you’re making pumpkin pie, dispose of your pumpkin pulp in the trash instead of down your drain to prevent clogs and blockages. Traditional Thanksgiving food also features one of the biggest birds you’re likely to eat throughout the year—and the means a lot of bones.

Make sure to dispose of any and all bones in the trash and keep all these food items out of your garbage disposal as well:

  • Celery

  • Pasta

  • Potato peels

  • Fruit pits

  • Coffee grounds

Christmas

One of the biggest issues you’ll run into for your plumbing during the holiday season is simply—your family and friends. Having more people over to celebrate means more people using your bathrooms. This additional strain on your plumbing is hard enough, but if anyone flushes anything that shouldn’t go down the toilet, you could end up with a serious holiday mess.

Place trash cans in your bathrooms to discourage your guests from disposing of anything that shouldn’t be flushed in your toilets and contact your local professional plumber to schedule a plumbing inspection to make sure everything is running smoothly before you have guests over.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

One of the biggest issues you may run into on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is simply having a plumber to call in case of plumbing emergencies.


At Mainline Plumbing Inc. our Central Valley plumbers are readily available to help you with any plumbing emergencies that you may encounter. Contact our team for professional plumbing services online or by phone at (209) 560-6652.
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