Plumbing Tips for the Season: Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

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How to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

Shopping, wrapping gifts, baking, making sure you’re not in the wrong column on Santa’s list because of plumbing oversights...the Christmas season is busy. If you’re hosting guests during the holiday season, you’ll be even busier. Keep these plumbing tips in mind to make sure the more really is the merrier.

Use Cold Water in the Garbage Disposal

Did you ever notice how we talk about the garbage disposal a lot? That’s because we get a lot of calls about clogged garbage disposals around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and often the problems are preventable. In addition to knowing what you should and shouldn’t toss in there, be sure to run cold water during and for 30-60 seconds after you put food in the garbage disposal. Hot water will solidify any grease poured down the drain by someone-who-isn’t-you (because you know better).

Do a Toilet Check

There’s no getting around it: Your ceramic throne is going to get a lot of use around the holidays. Give it a check-up—inspect the handle, the lift arm and chain, the flapper—and break the news to it gently. Speaking of gentle, a gentle reminder to guests in the form of a polite sign about what not to put in the toilet might save you some plumbing headaches and ensure your guests save face. Keep some supplies in plain sight, too, like extra toilet paper and a plunger.

Install Drain Catchers

If you’re hosting overnight guests, they’re going to log shower time. With more showers comes more hair down the drain. Installing a drain catcher, an easy-to-find and affordable item, will help prevent clogs. Check out our list of drain catcher recommendations.

Get the Water Heater Ready

More showers also mean more hot water usage. Encourage guests to put a bit of space between shower sessions in order to give the water heater tank a breather. The extra time will allow it to recover. Consider turning up the heater (no more than 120 degree Fahrenheit) while guests are there so that a little goes a long way. Lastly, if you’re due or overdue for water heater maintenance, tend to that before the holidays to avoid hot water mishaps.

Show Guests Where the Main Water Valve Is

If plumbing trouble brews, shutting off the main water valve or appliance-specific emergency shutoff valve can minimize damage and help get you into problem-solving mode. Mark the valve so guests can quickly find it in a pinch, give them the spiel about shutting off the water (for example, when water rises in the toilet), and have them practice turning it off and on. This is a “hope you don’t have to use it” measure but a useful one should guests be home alone when a plumbing issue occurs.

Expert Plumbing Services in Charlotte

If you live within a 30-mile radius of Charlotte, we've got you covered. Plumbing installation, repair, maintenance, emergencies—you name it, we do it. Call us at (704) 846-5371 or use our online contact form. We’re available 24/7, every day of the year. If you do need us on a holiday, don’t hesitate to contact us: We don’t charge extra on holidays.

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: What is the best way to prepare my home for holiday guests?

There are several plumbing tips for hosting guests during the holidays. Run cold water during and for 30-60 seconds after you put food in your garbage disposal. Inspect your toilet to ensure it is working properly. Install drain catchers in your shower. Make sure your water heater is maintained well. If plumbing issues occur, shut off the main water valve.

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