5 Plumbing Mistakes to Ruin Your Holidays

The holidays are upon us! With all the rushing around and entertainment that accompanies this time of year, we tend to forget to maintain the plumbing. High Mark Plumbing points out the five most common causes of Vancouver Plumbing Emergencies.

1. Grease and Fat

Keep an eye on the well meaning visitor that takes the lazy route and disposes of cooking grease and fat down the kitchen sink or in the food disposer. While the substance seems to pour easily while warm, fats and greases cool quickly and coat the inside walls of the pipes – eventually causing a buildup that will trap other food particles. As the particles get trapped, a clog eventually develops. The Drain Cleaning Experts at High Mark Plumbing suggest you first try a natural approach to dissolving the grease:

What you need:

  • Boiling Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Drain plug/rag

What to do:

1. Pour about 3/4 cup dry Baking Soda into clogged drain

2. Immediately pour 1/2 cup Vinegar down the drain; cover drain with rag or plug. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will ‘scrub’ the inside of the pipe walls – the mixture will try to escape the drain.

3. While waiting 30 minutes, boil water – pour the boiling water down the drain after 30 minutes (about 2-4 cups). 

2. More Garbage Disposal Woes

Many of the traditional side dishes of the winter holiday meals are  starchy, fibrous and stringy. Putting potato peels, celery, fruit peels, rice or pasta can eventually cause the drain in your kitchen sink to clog. It is important to realize that it isn’t just during clean-up that such items wind up in the drain. During preparation of the meal, particles often slip past your watchful eye as well. Be extremely cautious that potential drain cloggers do not find their way into the disposal.

3. And Yet More Garbage Disposal Woes

To be sure that your garbage disposal does not become over packed with food stuff, be certain to run each time waste is placed in the disposal. Additionally, run cold water long enough to assure the waste is flushed through the drain. It is not unusual for the user to forget about running the disposal until it is too full. When too much waste is in the disposal, it may not be able to grind the particles sufficiently – leaving remnants behind causing a stinky mess.

4. Sleep-Over Guests

With a houseful of sleepover guests, it is advisable to ask every guest to wait at least 10 minutes between showers. By taking showers back-to-back-to-back, drains can back up from the volume of water. The 10 minute break will allow water to clear the drain before the next shower commences. Too many showers too close together can cause a main sewer back-up or septic failure.

5. Toilet Etiquette

Remind your guests that cotton balls, feminine products, paper towels, cotton swabs, scrub pads, baby wipes and the like are toilet cloggers. These items will not dissolve and will most definitely cause a major clog. Never flush anything but waste and toilet paper!