You’ve done it again…invited everyone you could think of to attend a holiday party at your home.  Are you sure your plumbing is ready for everything you’re asking of it?

Before the guests arrive, take a few minutes to think about whether your water heater has been inspected or flushed recently.  Water heaters should be flushed annually to remove any sediment that has built up.  Sediment accumulation can be deadly to a water heater, and an abundance of cold water is not what you want during a party.

Are there any drains in your home that are slower than they used to be? Think of sinks, toilets, and showers.  Now is the time to fix them.  With all the extra use your plumbing will get, a slow drain will quickly turn into a clogged, inconvenient mess.

During the party, prevention is the best medicine.  Some simple things you can do to avoid a problem include:

  • Take it easy on your garbage disposal by not allowing any grease, meat, cheese, stringy foods such as celery, or potato and carrot peels to be put down there. The best way to clog your disposal is to expect it to deal with any of these foods, let alone all of them. To help your guests remember as well, keep a trashcan or large trash bowl close to food prep areas.
  • Every bathroom should have a conveniently placed trash can to help guests avoid the temptation of flushing tissues, wipes, cotton balls, or anything else you don’t want in your pipes.
  • Set your water heater a little higher than normal during the party to ensure there is enough hot water for all the dishwashing, hand washing, and cooking.  Remember that 125 degrees is the maximum you should set it to in order to avoid scalding. And, when the last dish is washed, turn the water heater back to its normal setting.
  • Clean faucets with vinegar to remove hard water buildup so that guests enjoy strong water streams instead of trickles.  If any guests will stay overnight, do the same with showerheads.

For many of us, a great holiday party is something that we remember for many years.  A good way to ensure your party is remembered by your guests as a great one is to call a reputable, licensed plumber to check for clogs, leaks, and water heater readiness.