How to Prepare Your Plumbing System For a House Party

The warm seasons are here and with that comes parties! Getting your friends and family together to share some great conversation, delicious food and make some memories is what spring and summer are all about.
A plumbing disaster is the last thing anyone wants to deal with while entertaining. If you are planning a summer bash and want it to go off without a hitch, you need to ensure that your plumbing, hot water, taps and drains can handle the number of visitors to your house.
Here are some simple plumbing tips, so you know all of your plumbing is working properly — and advice for keeping it that way.

Preventive Plumbing Tips When Hosting Guests At Home

Check For Drips
Parties involve lots of people, and that means more wear and tear on all of the faucets in your house. If you are sprucing up a guest bathroom that you ordinarily do not use, test the sink, tub, and shower for drips. Tighten up any loose tap fittings to stop them from getting damaged when numerous people suddenly use them.

Test the Toilets
Unlike many of today’s high-tech home appliances, toilets are rather straightforward fixtures and are comprised of only a few essential parts. When something breaks, it is usually relatively easy to diagnose the problem and fix it.
When you clean the toilet bowl, pay special attention to the main flush jet, or siphon jet. If your toilet flushes very slowly or needs a second flush to be successful, there’s a chance that the minerals have blocked or reduced the size of the small jet hole, which affects the water pressure from the toilet tank.

Unclog Those Slow Drains
Big parties mean lots of dirty dishes, so your sink needs to be in good working order. If it takes a while to drain water from your sinks, that could mean you have a blockage. Between the dirt, gunk and soap that swirls down our sink drains daily, the pipes are, understandably, bound to suffer and start acting a bit sluggish from time to time.
Sinks, toilets, and showers run into larger drain pipes, and those pipes sometimes clog as well. However, code dictates that there be a clean-out fitting installed at every change of direction. Simply remove the cap with a pair of pliers or a wrench and use this access for clearing the clog.

Make Sure to Place a Trash Can Near the Toilet
Many everyday bathroom products should not be flushed down the toilet, such as feminine supplies, napkins and baby wipes. By making sure that your guests have a place to put their trash, you can hopefully stop them from trying to flush inappropriate things down the toilet. Make sure there is a trash can visible near the toilet for guests to throw away their trash.

Keep a Plunger Near
Clogs can start small but turn into big problems. If left unchecked, one guest can clog the toilet and other guests can follow after causing soiled water to overflow onto the bathroom floor. Every flush can cause water damage and push the clog further into the pipes, making the problem worse. Keep a plunger near the toilet so they have easy access to it in case a clog happens.

Allow Guests to Use Multiple Bathrooms
If you have more than one bathroom, try to give guests access to at least a couple of them. Limiting access to only one bathroom puts quite a strain on your plumbing if you are hosting more than just a couple guests. One toilet simply might not be able to handle constant use and you could end up with a clog because it cannot keep up.

Remove Non-Flushable Items From All Bathrooms
As guests will often find their way to non-guest bathrooms, it is important that certain items that should not be flushed, such as baby wipes, personal toilet wipes and the like, are not made available in any of your bathrooms.

Guests may be tempted to use these items causing stoppages that can impact the home’s mainline, and ultimately every bathroom in the house. Remove all items such as cotton pads, tissues and even Q-tips, as guests are likely to flush these down the toilet in an attempt to hide any evidence of use. You could also add tasteful signage in a frame near the toilet reminding guests of explicit flushing guidelines.

Your Garbage Disposal Is Not a Garbage Can

It is called a “garbage” disposal but that does not mean that you should put actual garbage in it. As a plumber, the number of things I find that do not belong in the disposal is mind blowing. It might seem like it can handle anything, but actually, feeding your garbage disposal the wrong items is a surefire recipe for bad smells, clogs, and ultimately, a broken appliance. While it is fine to send most soft foods, ice cubes, chopped foods, and fruit peels through the garbage disposal in moderation, the following items are better off in the trash or your compost pile.
Always use sink strainers for all sinks in bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms, and wet bars to catch any debris that may fall into the sink and into the drain, thereby creating a clog. Never pour grease down the sink.

Reach Out to Best Plumbing for Professional Help
One of life’s most valuable lessons is learning how and when to ask for help. This rule translates to all areas of life, but especially when it comes to plumbing issues at home or a property you own/manage with residents.
Differentiating between quick weekend projects and complex repairs can save you thousands of dollars in potential property damage. Plumbing is not a skill that can easily be learned, it’s a valuable trade and craft.

A licensed and insured plumbing professional can clean and inspect your piping, from sewer drains to incoming water lines, to ensure maximum performance with the increased burden that will occur with more guests flushing your toilet, washing their hands and, of course, taking hot showers and baths in your home.

DIY Clogged Drain Solutions

1. Wire Hanger
Simple enough, but surprisingly effective. Take a regular wire coat hanger and straighten it out as best you can. Then, bend one end over to create a small hook. Push that past the drain cover and start fishing. You should be able to get all sorts of hair and nasty stuff out of the drain. Remember, you always want to be pulling gunk out, not pushing it further. When you’ve got as much out as you can, run the hot water, and it should clear things up nicely.

2. Boiling Water
This is the easiest and least expensive solution of all, which makes it the best one to try first. Place a kettle or pot of water on the stove and bring to a rolling boil. While you’re waiting for the water to heat, remove as much standing water from the sink as you can, using a mug or small pot to bail out the water. Then, pour the entire kettle of water into the sink and wait. If the water stands in the sink and the clog doesn’t move, give the water time to cool and remove it to try again. You may need to repeat the process several times to move the clog, but this often works on many types of stoppage.

3. P-trap
It may be necessary to clean your kitchen drain’s P-trap to clear the clog. The P-trap is at the curve of the drainpipe under the sink, usually inside a cabinet. Place a pan or bucket underneath the drain to catch any water or debris that may fall out. Unfasten the P-trap from the drainpipe and clear out anything that is stuck. Then replace and run water through it.

4. Plunger
If these combinations aren’t successful in unclogging your sink, reach for a common household plunger. If you have a double sink, first seal off the second side with a wet cloth or a stopper. You’ll need to create a tight seal around the plunger, so fill the side of the sink you intend to plunge with enough water to cover the bell of the plunger. Place the plunger firmly over the drain and plunge vigorously several times. When you hear the suction clear the clog, remove the plunger and flush the drain well with warm water.

5. The Drain Snake
This is a fairly low-tech piece of equipment that works wonders. It’s basically a long flexible metal rope with a spiral of metal at the end. The following video shows you just what to do.

Call the BEST Plumber for Drain Cleaning
If you are having trouble with one or more of the above blocking your drains, call Best Plumbing Services at 951-788-1321 for professional drain cleaning methods. Located in Riverside, California we are family owned and operated with over 10 years of experience. We take pride in our service and expect each job to be completed as if it were our own home or business. Our Licensed Plumbers and Technicians will be professional, clean and polite.