7 Christmas plumbing tips for happy holidays

christmas plumbing

It’s almost here, the day that brings families together to enjoy good company, food and fun. Christmas is a time of joy and good spirits, but it’s also a time for lots of entertaining in one home which can often lead to strain on drains resulting in blocked drains and toilets. Ensure your Christmas runs smoothly by incorporating these handy plumbing tips.

1. Put leftovers in the bin

Generally, this is the time of year we have friends and family over for multiple visits and not just entertaining on Christmas Day. The festive season in Australia pretty much starts at the beginning of the school summer holidays and doesn’t finish till after Australia Day. Households have a lot more traffic coming through and a lot more kitchen and entertaining action than any other time of the year. With cooking, comes washing up and unfortunately, leftovers and food scraps tend to go down the drain rather than the bin. One of the simplest and easiest ways to prevent accidental food scrapes from going down the drain is buying an inexpensive sink strainer.  Alternatively you could …

2. Install a Waste Disposal Unit

A typical Australian home will contribute to over 1000 kg of food waste to landfill every year. Food scraps also contribute to 30-40 percent of all waste generated in an average-sized home.

Unless you’re using your organic food scraps for a compost bin or fertilising your garden, rotting food scraps can cause a huge environmental problem. We often think because it’s food it will be broken down, but a more serious issue is that it creates more production of harmful greenhouse gases such as methane in landfill. Food waste deposited in landfill also potentially increases the risk of groundwater contamination and hygiene issues attracting insects and vermin. A plumber can install a new waste disposal unit in time for Christmas to help combat the excess food waste over the busy Christmas period.

3. Stagger times between showers

If you’re hosting guests over the holiday period, showers can run more than usual. The last thing you want for your guests is to run out of hot water. Spacing out the time between people and allowing 15 minutes in between showers will allow the hot water to replenish and gives the drains time to clear. Excess hair and soap scum can quickly build up and block drains.

4. Toilets are for waste only

You’d think these days people would know not to flush anything down the toilet except for waste and toilet paper. Plumbers have seen it all, and if you’re entertaining over the summer holidays, your toilets are going to be working extra hard. As a reminder to guests, it can be a good idea to put up a simple sign in your toilet to remind people not to flush bathroom items that block toilets.

These are:

  • Flushable wipes – because they really aren’t and don’t break down as toilet paper will
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Facial pads
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Paper towels
  • Cigarette butts 

5. Dispose of grease and oil properly

Grease and fat are some of the biggest threats to your drain. Most people don’t realise that even scraping small amounts of oil and grease from plates and fry pans over time will build up and harden in the pipes. When fat and oil is hot, it can appear like any other liquid, and you might assume it will wash away easily with water, but once it cools, it will thicken and harden. Instead of pouring down the drain, pour the excess fat and oil from cooking into a can, or plastic container that can be put in the bin.

6. Too many cooks in the kitchen

This expression describes the situation whereby – if too many people help to complete a task, it may not go very well. Too many people in the “kitchen” – or too many people trying to do the same task – can turn the situation into a hot mess. While it’s true for cooking in the kitchen, it can be equally true with cleaning up. With too many people all trying to help, food scraps can be dumped down the drain by accident, and other accidents and breakages can happen. It’s best to ask your guests to help clear tables but keep the washing up to one or two people. The last thing you want on Christmas day is an overflowing sink that won’t drain.

7. Schedule maintenance

Now is the time to have a maintenance check done by a plumber to ensure your kitchen and bathroom are going to be in good order. Schedule a routine check for blocks before the silly season comes around to give you peace of mind so you can concentrate on being festive and merry with family and friends.

Contact us today to book in a maintenance check of your drains.

*At the time of publishing Covid-19 restrictions allow up to 20 visitors who may visit a household for Christmas gatherings. The total number of visitors includes adults and children. Follow the rules around gatherings, and stay safe whether you are working, visiting family and friends, or going out. For more information and updates follow the public health order.

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