When you are busy preparing for your grand Christmas party, the last thing you want to deal with is a clogged drain or a hot water system failure. Plumbing issues are unexpected but they are more likely to occur during the holiday season. From hot water system to garbage disposal, your plumbing system will be overused when you have guests at home. Here are some valuable tips that will help you avert a holiday season plumbing disaster:
Get your plumbing system inspected
Many of you won’t like the idea of calling out a plumber when you already have so many things to do before Christmas. But, if you haven’t got a plumbing inspection done in the past six months, you must make it a priority. It is a good idea to take out some time before Christmas to get your home’s plumbing system checked in advance instead of calling an emergency plumber when you have guests at home.
Give your hot water system a break
From showers to washing dishes and doing the laundry; hot water is a basic need and when you have guests, the need increases. So, don’t be amazed if you keep running out of hot water during the holiday season. All you can do is:
- Turn the temperature bit higher but it should be below 125 degrees
- Avoid wasting hot water by checking all connections inside and outside your home
- Space out showers by at least 10-15 minutes
- Turn off the system when you don’t need hot water
Check your toilets
A blocked drain is perhaps the worst plumbing issue that anyone would ever want to deal with. To avoid such a plumbing problem during the holiday season, here is what you can do:
- Make sure you have trash cans in all the bathrooms and near the kitchen sink. Ask your guests to use trash bin for trash. Often, we assume cigarette butts and cotton swabs won’t be a problem when they go down the drain. Even though small, they could get stuck in the drain pipes and clog them. Instruct the kids to dispose of their candy wrappers in trash bins.
- Use a drain strainer to catch the hair in the bathroom.
- Space out the showers so as to let the drains do their job properly.
- If you notice slow drainage, try these ‘hacks to clear a blocked drain, sink and toilet’. If they don’t work, call our emergency plumbers.
Prevent kitchen sink clogs
- Do not let oil or grease flow into your drain pipes. Oil will harden soon and will clog the drain. The safest way to get rid of grease is to pour it into a heat safe container and deal with it later. If you or your guest has mistakenly poured the grease down the drain, leave hot water running into it and pour some detergent as well.
- If your guests are assisting you in the kitchen, request them to throw off the vegetable peels and other scraps into waste bins.
- Scrape off the excess food from the plates before placing them in the sink or in the dishwasher. The best way to do this is to use paper towels.
- Use strainer screen or basket in kitchen sinks to prevent food scraps from going down the drains.
AusTest Pipeline Solutions wishes you and your family a very happy, healthy, and clog-free Christmas. If you are facing any plumbing issue and require an emergency plumber, do not hesitate to call us for immediate help.
How to protect your home from water damage during natural disasters
Natural disasters can be very devastating. In March-April 2017, Cyclone Debbie claimed more than 12 lives in NSW and Queensland. In October 2017, flooding occurred in Central Coast Queensland. The Great Southern Region and West Victoria also experienced severe flooding and storm-like situations this year. Unfortunately, we cannot do much to prevent a natural disaster. But, if you take proper precautionary measures, you will be able to prevent/minimise water damage and safeguard your home against flood, storm, and other natural disasters. Our water damage restoration team has some valuable tips for you:
Inspect and repair your roof
- If you haven’t had your roof inspected in the past few years, get it done as soon as possible. Nothing can be more devastating than a leaking roof. Other than the unsightly water stains, roof leaks can invite major water damage remediation Get the leaks fixed, the loose shingles secured and the tiles fastened with screws and wires. If you are planning for a complete roof restoration, ask your roofing contractor to suggest you impact-resistant materials that are capable of standing up to extreme weather.
- Install or repair gutter guard to prevent gutter clogs. Also, get the gutter and downspouts cleaned regularly.
Waterproof the basement
- If you notice water seepage in the basement of your home after a rainfall, get it resealed on a priority basis. Seepage in the basement indicates that the once-waterproof basement floor and walls have deteriorated and you need to paint them with water sealant.
- To prevent water damage in your basement, make sure the ground slopes away from your home’s foundation. There is no ideal sloping height but it should be no less than 6”.
- Install a sump pump in the basement to pump out the water that has seeped inside. Make sure the sump pump operates on batteries as well so that it can work even when there is a power outage.
- Install water detection alarm in your home. These alarms work just like the smoke alarms. The sensors can be placed in the basement, laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, and other areas of your home. Whenever there is a leakage, the alarm will be triggered, warning you of a potential danger.
Equip your home’s plumbing system to deal with flood water
- Water damage remediation is expensive work. So, you must ‘wet-proof’ your home by installing foundation vents that will allow water to flow away instead of rising inside your home.
- You may dry-proof the walls of your home to keep away the flood water.
- Rising water may cause sewage to back up into your home. To prevent this, get a backflow valve installed in your drain line. It’s also important to have your backflow valves tested regularly to ensure they do there job.
- Make sure you do an annual inspection of the hoses leading to washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, etc.
- Do an annual inspection of the seal and caulking around the showers and tubs to ensure that they are watertight.
- Get an emergency pressure release valve installed in the plumbing system of your home. This device will protect your home when there is an increase in water pressure due to flood, hurricanes, and even during the winter season when the pipes freeze.
- Everyone in your family must know where the main water shut-off valve is. During earthquakes or hurricanes, the pipes may break and create havoc. Shutting off the main water supply can save you from unnecessary water damage restoration
Natural disaster can strike anytime. So, prepare an emergency kit having some canned food, water, a flashlight, and emergency medicines. We hope these tips will help you stay safe.
If you do find a leak in your water systems or suspect you have a blocked drain that may flood under heavy rain, get in touch with Aus-Test, Melbourne’s most trusted plumbing and leak detection team. We can have someone on your property to help you out quick smart.