How to Ensure Everything Flows Smoothly This Holiday Season

How to Ensure Everything Flows Smoothly This Holiday Season (Not Just the Holiday Cheer)

Hydro Jetting in West Milford

As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to consider the smooth operation of your home’s essential systems. While we often focus on festive decorations and celebration plans, it’s equally crucial to keep your plumbing and water heater in mind.

Plumbing issues, particularly with sewer and drain lines, can quickly turn a joyful occasion into a stressful emergency. Additionally, hot water shortages during the holidays can be a significant inconvenience.

Let’s explore how to maintain both aspects of your home’s functionality this holiday season. Of course, if you have any questions or need to schedule service, you can simply reach out to the expert West Milford plumbers at Mark Lindsay and Son!

1) Keeping Your Drains Clear

Keeping your drains clear and avoiding the need to schedule professional drain cleaning is easy. It’s a matter of not putting things in them that will cause clogs.

Kitchen Grease

Pouring kitchen grease down the kitchen sink drain. Liquid grease will cool and form globs that will build up and clog your drain. The best thing to do is to pour it into a container, an old coffee can is perfect and let it cool. When you fill it up, either toss it into the trash or take it to a recycling center.

Food Waste

Even if you have a garbage disposal, it’s better to put your food waste in the trash or on your compost pile. This includes food scraps, coffee grounds, bones, etc.

Bathroom Clogs

Use a mesh on your shower and sink drain to keep hair out of your drains. A perforated drain with a hair catcher will also work.

Your Toilet

Toilets are made to handle Number One and Number two. Not feminine hygiene products, dental floss, or personal wipes (even if they’re labeled “Flushable”, they’re not). These items can catch on anything in the pipes and cause a buildup that will cause a clog. They should be thrown in the trash.

What to Do If You Get a Clog

If your drain does get clogged, there are a few things you can do to try to clear it before you call your plumber.

  • Check the Drain Stopper: Remove and clean the drain stopper if it’s clogged.
  • Use a Plunger: Use a plunger to clear the drain. Put the bell of the plunger over the drain and move it up and down to move the water in the pipes. Put about two inches of water in the sink before using the plunger.
  • Explore your Sink Trap: This is the “U” shaped pipe beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. It can be removed to deal with clogs, but for more effective and lasting solutions, it’s advisable to contact a professional plumber like Mark Lindsay and Son.

To address a toilet clog issue, you can also consider using a Plumbing Snake (also known as an auger), a tool designed for clearing obstructions.

2) Maintaining Your Sewer Line

Even if you are smart about keeping your in-house drains clear, you may still have issues with your sewer line. This is the line that runs from your house to the street and the municipal sewer system. It may clog due to the previous owner not being careful or some other causes such as tree roots or problems with the pipe itself. Clearing a sewer line is not a DIY project.

Preventing Sewer Line Clogs

Keeping your sewer line clear is a continuation of keeping your drains clear. No food scraps, grease, dental floss, “flushable” wipes, feminine hygiene products, and so on down the drain. One problem you can’t control is the condition of the pipe itself. Due to age, shifting ground, etc. you can end up with low spots in your line. Water and debris can collect in these areas and cause clogs. You’ll need to have your plumber scope the line with a camera and see how bad the low spots are. If they’re minimal, sticking to the habit of keeping your drains clear should be fine. If they’re in bad shape, you’ll need to have the line repaired to ensure the proper slope from your house to the street.

The other thing you can’t control is tree roots. Your trees are great, but the roots are continually growing to find water and nutrients. They can get into sewer lines in the gaps in concrete and clay sewer lines. They’re not an issue with PVC sewer lines because the joints are sealed when the pipe is installed. If you find tree roots in a cast iron sewer line, it’s a sign that the cast iron is rotting and softening

Clearing Your Sewer Line

Clearing a clogged sewer line is a task best left to professionals. Your plumber can employ one of three methods:

  • Using a Blade: A circular blade cuts through tree roots to clear obstructions. Regular inspections are recommended to monitor root intrusion.
  • Auger: An auger, a large plumbing snake, dislodges material and moves it to the main sewer line.
  • Hydro-Jetting: High-pressure water is used to clean the inside of the pipe and flush debris into the main sewer line.

Preventative Sewer Line Maintenance

You should have your preventative sewer line maintenance done every two years. This will help keep it functioning properly and avoid costly repairs. It’ll prevent debris and possibly tree roots from causing a major blockage that can be a nightmare. It’ll also help extend the life of your pipes, avoiding an expensive line replacement. Talk to your plumber about having the maintenance done on a regular basis.

3) Keeping the Hot Water Flowing

It’s great having guests for the holidays. We’ve looked at keeping things flowing out of the house, now we’ll look at keeping things, specifically hot water, flowing in the house. One thing you don’t want to happen in the middle of your holiday celebrations is running out of hot water. The extra demand can quickly overwhelm a conventional water heater. Hearing the dreaded “We’re out of hot water again!” is something you don’t want to hear. There is a way to prevent this situation. It’s a tankless water heater.

A tankless water heater is just that – a water heater without a tank. It delivers hot water on demand, rather than having a tank of hot water sitting around. The advantage is that you won’t run out of hot water. They come in electric, and gas-fired models. They’re smaller than tank water heaters and more energy efficient. If you have a large demand for hot water, or you need to run your dishwasher or clothes washer while someone is taking a shower, you may need to install more than one. You can install them near where you need them, such as in your laundry room, right below your kitchen, etc. Talk to your plumber about setting up the tankless water heating system that will meet your needs and your budget. A tankless water heater system will keep the hot water flowing during the holidays and all year round.

Get Professional Plumbing Help Today!

For expert assistance in maintaining clear sewer and drain lines and to explore the benefits of tankless water heaters, reach out to Mark Lindsay & Son!

We’re here to help you ensure your plumbing functions smoothly during the holidays and throughout the year. Don’t let plumbing issues disrupt your celebrations – let us provide the solutions you need.

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