It’s holiday season once again, and that means it’s time to make sure your plumbing is in tip-top shape for the holidays and colder weather. Following these five tips will help prevent an emergency call to your local Houston plumber.
Do: Get Your Toilet Ready
Having company over with a temperamental toilet? Your guests might not appreciate the extra steps — holding the handle down an extra two seconds or giving it a second flush — required to get it to discharge its contents. If you know how to repair flappers and chains on your own, now’s your chance, and if you don’t, now’s the time to call a Houston plumber. Remember the golden rule: your toilet should work with a single flush every single time.
Don’t: Use Your Garbage Disposal for Everything
Your garbage disposal is best used sparingly. It is always better to throw away food scraps in the garbage. Eggshells are the worst offender — the little bits of shell and protein can build up into a hard, concrete-like substance that is nearly impossible for a Houston plumber to dislodge easily. Fibrous vegetables like celery, fat, and animal bones can all clog up your disposal and pipes. Is your garbage disposal clogged? Most models have a hand-operated crank on the bottom to help break up clogs — never stick your hand into the disposal unit itself, even when the circuit breaker is off.
Do: Stock Up on Plumbing Supplies
Even with well-maintained plumbing, emergencies happen, and you don’t want them ruining your holidays. Always have a plunger handy to deal with run-of-the-mill toilet and sink clogs, and if you want to be double-protected this season, invest in a plumbing snake to handle tougher clogs.
Don’t: Leave Outdoor Faucets On
Here in Houston, we experience some freezing temperatures in the winter, and freezing water expands. If there is water left in an outdoor faucet, that too can expand and cause a leak. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix — simply turn off the water to your outdoor faucets and drain them.
Do: Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater
Conventional water heater tanks aren’t up to the task of supplying water for 10 or 12 people under a single roof. The next time you need a Houston water heater repair, consider upgrading to a tankless unit. You’ll never run out of hot water, and you’ll cut your water heating bill by 30 to 50 percent.