By AJ Danboise

Clogs, breakdowns, and plumbing leaks are some of the most common problems when it comes to game day and other large get-togethers. From clogged and overflowing toilets to broken garbage disposals and ruptured pipes, plumbing problems around the holidays are extremely common.

Help prevent plumbing problems on game day by going over this preventative plumbing checklist.

Clean and Deodorize Garbage Disposal

Whether you smell something funky emanating from your garbage disposal or not, it’s a good idea to clean and deodorize it once in a while. It’s easy—just grind up some ice cubes and lemon wedges. The ice helps clean and sharpen the blades while the lemon provides a natural deodorizer. You and your guests will prefer the clean, citrusy smell to last night’s dinner.

Avoid Garbage Disposal Jams

In order to avoid a broken garbage disposal this holiday season, instruct your guests to leave their used plates alone, scrape them into the garbage, or place them on the kitchen counter. You may even want to tape off the garbage disposal switch or place a “Do Not Use” sign on the switch.

Designate one or two people to handle the dishes. For large amounts of food, consider saving it in Tupperware or using the garbage instead. If you are making use of the garbage disposal, feed it slowly and avoid large bones, fat, oil, grease, cheeses, and starchy food like rice and pasta.

Avoid Toilet Clogs

When hosting any party or large gathering, especially if a lot of food is involved, it’s a good idea to think about toilet clog prevention.

  • Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. Wet wipes, even the “flushable” kind should get thrown out, not flushed. Not everyone knows this. Consider placing a sign in the bathroom to only flush toilet paper.
  • If you have a sensitive toilet system that is prone to clogs, let your guests know and stock the bathroom with thin toilet paper.
  • Consider putting away items that are tempting to flush, such as wet wipes, Q-tips, paper towels, and tissues.
  • Remove smalls objects near your toilet that could accidentally fall in.
  • Make sure you have an empty wastebasket and working plumber.

Check Your Drains

Before anyone comes over, check all of your toilets and drains for proper flow. If you have a drain clog, try using a plunger or plumber’s snake. Sometimes, you can solve the problem with an eco-friendly drain cleaner, such as Bio-Clean, but other times you will want to get them professionally cleaned. Contact a professional plumber if you cannot clear the clog yourself.

If Something Goes Wrong

During plumbing emergencies, it’s important to know exactly where your individual and main water shut-off valves are located. Learn how to locate and use the shut-offs before your guests arrive for game day. Individual shut-off valves are normally located underneath the fixture or nearby. The main water shut-off valve is either in a cement box near the front curb, in the basement/laundry room, or attached to an exterior wall.

Don’t panic if your garbage disposal or toilet clogs. If the situation is not an emergency, simply turn off the individual water shut-off valve near the fixture or appliance you don’t want people using. Put up an “Out of Order” sign and enjoy the rest of your party until the next day when you can deal with it.

If you do have a plumbing emergency, AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical is open 24/7 for just that reason.

Contact AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical online or at (248) 477-3626 for high-quality plumbing and HVAC service in Farmington Hills and the surrounding area.

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