Cooler weather and the upcoming holidays pose the perfect recipe for costly plumbing failure. Still, with a little planning and insight from industry experts, consumers can prevent themselves from having repairs and holiday hassles.
One of the most common plumbing issues consumers face during the holidays is a clogged sink or malfunctioning garbage disposal. Gary Eisenhauer, manager at The Sunny Plumber, likes to remind consumers to be wary of the "FOG."
"Fats, oils, and grease are your garbage disposals worst enemy," said Eisenhauer. "While this material is in liquid form when it's initially poured into the disposal, it congeals into a viscous sludge as it cools. The FOG then sticks to the walls of the disposal chamber, as well as the walls of the drain pipe. This can gum up the impeller, as well as clog the drain. Don't pour FOG down the garbage disposal if you want to avoid these issues. Throw it away, instead."
Other garbage disposal best practices include never throwing beans, rice, pasta and bread down the drain. When saturated with water, this food material will expand and that's when you have a backup. In addition, bones and fibrous foods should be thrown away or composted. "If you send those down your disposal, it's a safe bet they be coming back up," said Eisenhauer. "Nobody wants that mess during the holidays."
During the holidays bathroom facilities are taxed with additional traffic and usage. Annual maintenance to clear any build-up can often prevent major toilet clogs and avoid the spread of infectious waste in the bathroom. Eisenhauer also advises consumers to stay away from using chemicals to try and clear blockage as this rarely remedies a clogged line. If a plunger doesn't clear the clog, you need to turn to the pros, he said.
In addition, the arrival of cooler weather raises some caution for water heaters. Cold air causes expansion and contraction in water heaters and in some older units, fractures can occur resulting in failure. Routine maintenance can identify those risks as well as ensure water heaters are operating effectively and efficiently.
"Water heaters are your best friend during the holidays and when the cooler weather is here, but it can be your worst nightmare when they are not taken care of or installed incorrectly," Eisenhauer adds. "With some minor attention, you can prevent major headaches from occurring."
About The Sunny Plumber
The Sunny Plumber offers the highest quality plumbing services throughout the Southwest. All plumbers are experienced in solving a wide variety of plumbing problems including drain cleaning, leak detection, sewer line and garbage disposal repair. The company also sells, installs and services standard and tankless water heaters. All plumbers are background-checked, drug-tested, and receive continuous technical training to make them the best in the industry. For more information, visit thesunnyplumber.com.