Whether you're enjoying a spooky Halloween with your kids or a more elegant Christmas with your family and friends, the last thing you want to think about is your plumbing. However, if you are not careful, you might have to skip your neighborhood Halloween party, or stay inside while your family goes Christmas caroling, to deal with an avoidable plumbing disaster. Here are a few common Halloween- and Christmas-related plumbing issues, and how to avoid them:
The Dangers Posed By Pumpkin Guts
You've finished carving pumpkins and although the jack-o-lanterns look great, you're left with a giant heap of pulp. Your first instinct might be to take all this gooey mess and shove it down your garbage disposal.
This might be convenient, but the damage you will do to your garbage disposal and plumbing can be catastrophic. The pulp found inside of pumpkins is far too sticky and dense for your garbage disposal to handle. The hard seeds will also cause serious damage to the garbage disposal blades.
If any pulp manages to get past the garbage disposal and into your pipes, it will harden and cause a blockage that will require a plumber to get rid of it.
Instead of tossing your pumpkin pulp and seeds into the garbage disposal, down the bathroom drain or even down the toilet, dispose of them in a more environmentally-friendly way. After you've cleaned the guts out of your pumpkin, separate the pulp and the seeds.
The pulp will make a nutrient-rich addition to your backyard compost heap. The seeds can be roasted in your oven and will make a delicious, sweet treat to enjoy while you're trick-or-treating through the neighborhood!
Christmas and Your Plumbing
Christmas is a time of foods, family and, unfortunately, an unexpected strain on your plumbing. However, with a little preparation and a few tips, it is possible to prevent plumbing disasters in your kitchen:
Avoid pouring grease down your garbage disposal or kitchen drain. Instead, collect the grease in a can and either cover the can or allow the grease to solidify before tossing it into the garbage.
Never toss any fibrous foods down your garbage disposal, such as celery, carrots, potato peels and onion skins. Additionally, avoid throwing turkey bones down the disposal, as these can scratch or warp the blades.
Angie's List urges homeowners to avoid tossing egg shells down the disposal. The inside of the shells are covered with a sticky substance that can lead to a clog.
Avoid overloading the dishwasher. Not only will the dishwasher need to work overtime to clean the dishes, any food particles and debris that are found in the unit will flush into the plumbing.
The plumbing in your bathroom is also in danger during the holiday season – particularly if you have several guests staying in your home. The extra showers and trips to the toilet can place a serious strain on your plumbing.
To protect your plumbing, insist your guests take short showers and clean out any hair or other debris that is left behind in the bathtub drain. Additionally, make sure your guests aren't throwing anything down the toilet that doesn't belong there, such as baby wipes or cotton balls. If you or your guests notice any issues with your plumbing, don't hesitate to contact a professional immediately.
From pumpkin guts to turkey bones and too many overnight guests, the holidays can put a serious strain on your plumbing. In addition to following these tips, if you're expecting any guests during the holidays, contact a professional to help you determine if any upgrades to your plumbing will help prevent a disaster. Visit the website of a local plumbing expert for more info.