How Can You Prevent A Plumbing Emergency Around The Holidays?

The holiday season is filled with festive gatherings of family and friends—and nothing can ruin a festive mood like plumbing issues. If you're hosting this year's gathering, you've probably begun to plan menus and seating charts. Is there any way you can plan for the sudden strain on your pipes as your home is filled with guests? Read on to learn about several ways you can help ensure your pipes are in good shape as you enter the holiday season.

Treat your septic system

If your wastewater travels into a septic tank, it can't hurt to use a commercial septic treatment liquid before your guests arrive. These liquids contain beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help break down solid waste in your septic tank and ensure the ideal chemical balance of your tank.

Also keep in mind that it is recommended to have your septic tank pumped every 2.5 to 4 years (based on a four-person household and a 1,000 to 1,500 gallon tank). If you feel you're getting close to this timeline, it's best to have the situation taken care of before the holidays. Consult with professionals, such as Puget Sound Plumbing, with any further questions.

Keep an eye on greasy scraps

If you have a garbage disposal, it can be tempting to feed all your holiday leftovers into it. However, the amount of grease and fatty material present in most leftover holiday food can clog your pipes quickly. Put as many leftovers as possible in the garbage or a compost pile, and avoid pouring leftover oil down the drain. When you run your garbage disposal, be sure to run plenty of warm water into it to force any grease all the way through the pipes.

Even if you don't have a garbage disposal, it's always a good idea to avoid putting too many greasy dishes into the sink. You can either wait for the grease to solidify and scrape it into the trash, or drain it into a container which is thrown away (or kept for seasoning).

Prevent freezes

Holidays are cold in many parts of the country, and in the hustle and bustle you may not give much thought to the potential of frozen pipes. However, if the temperatures begin to plummet, there are a few things you can do to keep your pipes safe.

You may want to run a small trickle from each tap before you go to bed. This flow of water can help prevent pipes from freezing. During the day, freezing is less of a concern, so you can shut the taps off. If your pipes are exposed, you may also consider applying heat tape. This is a type of tape that insulates your pipes, keeping them safe from cold temperatures.