Illustration of Santa with a plungerHow to Remedy Common Holiday Plumbing Problems

Every homeowner knows that plumbing disasters often take place at the least convenient times; like when you are hosting a weekend party, cooking a holiday meal or otherwise entertaining guests in your home. Below are some helpful tips from our plumbers in Laguna Niguel for you to use when these problems occur:

Stopped-Up Sink Drain

When people are cooking for the holidays, their drains start working overtime. Since most drain clogs occur in the J-shaped pipe beneath your sink, they are often easier to clear away than toilet clogs.

One of our plumbers in Laguna Niguel warns against the dangers of chemical drain cleaners:

“Steer clear of chemical drain cleaners! They do more harm than good. Your first line of defense should be to boil a big pot of water, and then pour it down your sink drain in hopes that the hot water will break up the clog and flush it through. If that doesn’t work, go for the plunger. If you’re still having trouble, you can use a snake if you’re comfortable with it, but I would advise most people to call in a plumber at that point.”

Faulty Dishwasher Performance

If you have holiday meal dishes to wash, but your dishwasher has failed to properly drain from the last load, it may be clogged with food waste. If you remove the drain basket screws and pull out the flapper and basket, the problem may quickly become evident: if the basket is clogged with food particles, it simply needs to be washed and the dishwasher’s interior cleaned. Such clogs can be prevented by remembering to rinse dishes before they are placed in the machine.

Fixing a Broken Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal, it is highly likely that it has become clogged at least once or twice. One way to avoid this problem is to pay close attention to what you place in the disposal. For example, avoid putting coffee grounds, potato peels, egg shells or grease down the drain, as garbage disposals are not made to process such items. It is also important to keep an eye on what guests may be placing down the disposal when visiting or attending a party.

If the disposal is running sluggish, the blades may need to be sharpened or replaced. Sharpening is easy to do by running a few small ice cubes through the disposal. If the disposal is failing to run at all, press the reset button on the bottom of the unit. If these remedies prove ineffectual, it is time to call a plumber.

Water Heater Issues

If your water heater is failing to produce hot water or you notice moisture around the base, it is likely that it needs to be repaired by a plumber. If it is a particularly old unit, it may have simply reached the end of its lifespan, at which point it must be replaced. Any new or unusual sounds coming from the unit should never be ignored. Rather, when in doubt, contact a professional for an expert evaluation of any holiday plumbing problem you are experiencing.

Clogged Toilet

Even if you meticulously maintain your home, all toilets occasionally become clogged. In most cases, the proper use of a simple plunger will remedy the problem. However, if you have a major clog, you may need to use a drain snake. If you are unsure how to use these tools or you have tried them and could not resolve the problem, it is time to contact a professional plumber.