As the holiday season approaches, your plumbing fixtures and pipes could use a little loving attention to ensure that you—and your guests—make it through the festivities without mishap. Take a few minutes to walk through your house and check your plumbing. Most of the issues and/or problems listed below are easily remedied. You can do many of them yourself.
Our checklist to help keep things operating smoothly:
Basement and Outdoors
- If you have multiple slow-running drains or backups, NOW is the time to call your plumber for a drain inspection.
- Uninsulated water pipes leading to outdoor faucets can burst during cold weather. Close off the water source, and let those faucets drain completely. Insulating the pipes is a good idea, too.
- Your washer and dryer are going to get a good workout during the holidays. Make sure your washing machine hoses are not dried out and cracking, and check your dryer’s exhaust vent: Accumulated lint is a fire hazard. If you haven’t replaced that flexible tubing for a while, now might be the time.
- Be sure your water heater is up to the challenge. Erratic temperatures or rusty water means a problem. If everything is in order, you may want to temporarily increase the thermostat on your water heater to ensure an abundant supply for your guests over the holidays. But if you have young children in the house, keep the temperature settings low.
Bathrooms and Kitchen
- Take a tour of those rarely used bathrooms. Does water flow quickly down the drains? Do the faucets leak? Are they easy to turn on/off or do they stick? Flush the toilet: Do you hear water running inside the tank? Are there rusty spots or puddles at the base of or under the tank?
- Are your shower heads low-consumption/high efficiency models? More people means more water consumption and higher bills. Be proactive to keep those bills manageable.
- Make sure that your bath and shower drains have mesh traps to catch hair and other stuff that shouldn’t go down the pipes. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a plunger standing by for occasional minor setbacks.
- Check your kitchen disposal unit. Is it working efficiently? Is that handy little allen wrench actually at hand for those moments when the disposal gets jammed but isn’t actually broken?
Your Guests Arrive
- Caution your guests not to pour hot grease down the drain and not to put bones in the disposal. Keep a container next to the coffeemaker for used coffee grounds, etc.
- Remind your younger guests that excessive amounts of toilet paper, not to mention toys and other oddities, will clog toilets and make everyone unhappy.
- Ask your guests to let you know about any leaks or blockages immediately.
- Try to use your dishwasher, washer and dryer overnight so that they don’t draw down resources when your guests need them.
Consider an Atlas Home Service Plan
If your holiday dreams consist of sumptuous meals and cozy nights by the fire with family and friends, but not leaky faucets or a lack of hot water, you might want to consider the Atlas Home Service Plan. You’ll know that everything is working properly as the holidays approach. And you can rest assured that, if disaster does strike during your celebrations—or anytime during the year—our experts will be there to help you.