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Family preparing dinner

The holiday season is finally here. You want your home to be in top shape and your household running smoothly. One thing you don’t want is clogged drains. Here’s a bit about how the holiday season can cause plumbing issues, and how you can prevent them.

Avoid the FOG

FOG stands for fat, oil and grease, and it can cause serious clogs in your pipes. At this time of year, you’re probably cooking more than ever. Maybe some of your relatives and younger family members are helping and your kitchen is chaos. Make sure that everybody knows that fat, oil and grease can never go into your drains. Have a little container that this stuff can go into so it can congeal and be thrown away.

Those “Flushable” Items

If you have out-of-town guests at your house, you want your house to be fun and relaxed. But you also have to protect it. Gently inform them that so-called “flushable” items can’t be flushed at your house. This includes baby wipes, tampons and other products. They can all cause a lot of problems down the road, especially if you have a septic tank. Keep a trash can right by the toilet and make sure it doesn’t get too full.

Winter Is Coming

If you’re in Colorado, you’ve already noticed the temperature dropping by now. Hopefully your pipes are protected from freezing. The easiest protection method is insulation around the pipes. Take a look below your house if you can. When pipes freeze they can burst, causing serious damage to your home. (Imagine having to have your floors and carpet replaced during the holidays!) And ice in your pipes can cause clogging as well. If you’re expecting low temperatures, you might want to let some faucets drip a little overnight. This keeps the water moving and less likely to freeze.

Strain Those Drains

All sorts of debris ends up in your shower, bathtub and sinks, and this is worse the more people are at your house. One very cheap and easy way to prevent clogs is with drain strainers. Most homes have these but they sometimes get removed and not put back in place. This is a mistake, especially when your house is more occupied than usual. Keep them all in place and make sure to clean them out frequently to avoid an overflow or an unsanitary situation. Cleaning them out can be a little icky, but be happy that you’ve prevented all that hair or food or bits of soap from clogging up your pipes. Replace metal drain strainers if they get rusty, and replace plastic ones if they’ve gotten degraded or gross. They’re widely available and don’t cost much.

Take It Easy on Those Disposals

Garbage disposals are pretty handy, but use them sparingly. If they’re used too often, the disposal’s motor and/or blades can wear down and become less effective at breaking down food matter. And remember that all the food you put into the disposal goes through narrow pipes not designed to handle a lot of solid material. All of this food stuff combined with small amounts of fat, oil and/or grease can cause serious clogs in your pipes. If you have guests, make sure they know to put food into the trash can or compost instead of the garbage disposal whenever possible.

The Pipes Are Calling

Sometimes your pipes will tell you if there’s trouble brewing. If there’s a blockage they may make strange noises. If you have a sink or tub that’s been draining slowly, or a toilet that requires several flushes, that’s a sign that a clog is forming. Don’t wait for these problems to get worse once guests arrive at your house and your pipes are used more. For slow-draining sinks, you can try plunging. Small sink plungers are widely available and fairly cheap, and they work just like toilet plungers. Run some water into the sink, then gently plunge to move blockages. For toilets that don’t want to flush try using a plunger. That usually will be all it takes to get your toilet flowing again!

To keep your drains clear this holiday season, call the professionals at Allen Service. We’ll perform a sewer camera inspection to locate the clog and get to work clearing it out with motorized augers, high-pressure water jets, or bio-cleaners. We will open your main line drain for $93 and if we can’t, it’s free! Plus, if your sewer backs up again within a year, we’ll open it again for free! Call us today at 970-672-1660 or contact us online to request drain cleaning services in Fort Collins, CO.