Make the Holidays Merrier by Knocking Out a Few Plumbing Projects for Your Relatives
The season of giving isn’t limited to material things, as much as we all enjoy giving or receiving a nicely wrapped present. The gift of giving time and service is invaluable, especially in our ever-busy world. As you know from our Community Involvement page, giving back is a core value of our company. If you’d like to lend a helping hand to your elderly relatives, here are some DIY plumbing projects you could tackle as a way to make life easier for those you love. A little goes a long way.
Drain and Flush the Water Heater
As you know from reading our posts on water heater maintenance, an annual drain and flush is essential to make sure your water heater remains in good working order. Ideally this is done before cold weather kicks in, but if you live in a Southern state and the weather allows, it’s a project to consider.
Check the Hoses on Appliances
Look for loose fitting hoses, cracks, and leaks. Replace the ones that are brittle and look iffy—it’s not worth the risk. You may even want to consider installing water alarms near appliance sites. An inexpensive investment, water alarms could help save your elderly relative from all the headaches associated with water damage.
Clean Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Kitchen sinks are workhorses, especially those with garbage disposals. Here’s an easy way to deodorize the garbage disposal and sharpen the blade:
- To deodorize: Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Give it a chance to bubble (i.e., eat germs) for a minute, then chase it down with hot water.
- To sharpen blades: Pour one to two cups of ice down the drain and turn on the cold water. Run the garbage disposal as the ice gets chopped up.
- DO NOT put lemon into the garbage disposal. The Internet floats around the idea of putting a lemon into the disposal to freshen it, but in truth, more often than not the peel get stuck on the side of the disposal and then slowly rots, creating a nasty smell and potentially clogging the drain when it finally is dislodged.
Feeling ambitious? Check the drain trap, too—here and in other sinks, too.
Clean the Dishwasher
Cleaning the cleaner? Yes! First, food bits get caught in the drainer and can back things up (and leave a film on the dishes). Second, like the garbage disposal, dishwashers get put through a lot. Here we return to our friend white vinegar again: Run two cups of it through the dishwasher to cleanse.
You don’t want your elderly relative to deal with a frozen pipe emergency. Insulate exposed pipes with inexpensive foam. Check out our blog post on frozen pipe prevention for more tips.
Plumbing Project Beyond Your Scope? Call Us.
If you’re doing one or more of these projects on behalf of your elderly relative, you might come across something that goes beyond DIY. Give us a call at (704) 846-5371 or use our contact form. You might wish to put our number in a handy place for your elderly relative, too, should they run into a problem. We serve clients in a 25-mile radius of Charlotte, NC 24/7, 365 days a year.
Quick question & answer: What are the best plumbing projects I can help my relatives with?
The following Christmas projects for elderly relatives can be helpful. Drain and flush their water heater to help with water heater maintenance. Check the hoses on appliances for loose fitting hoses, leaks, and cracks. Deodorize the garbage disposal and sharpen the blade. Clean the dishwasher with white vinegar. Lastly, insulate pipes to prevent a frozen pipe emergency.