Did you know, black Friday isn’t just for businesses? Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. Any guesses why? When preparing for Thanksgiving, or the holidays in general, families prepare for everything except a plumbing disaster.
We understand that Thanksgiving will look different this year. That doesn’t change our feelings about the holiday and the fact that we want to make a big, delicious meal. Even if you are just cooking for your immediate family members, your plumbing, appliances, and HVAC will still bear the brunt of the holiday.
Since the holidays should be easy and restful, we’re sharing our expert tips to prepare your home for Thanksgiving. They include everything from plumbing and drains, to indoor air quality and HVAC.
Preparing Your Home Plumbing for Thanksgiving
Typically, the holidays are a time for gathering. This year your family is probably spending more time at home than usual. No matter what, your plumbing system will see a surge during the holidays. Additionally, cooking a Thanksgiving meal, no matter the size, will put extra strain on your kitchen sink and garbage disposal. This includes your bathroom as well.
Though your home may not see as much traffic this year due to current circumstances, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you’re taking care of your plumbing and preventing small problems from becoming big problems.
At Bell Brothers, we take care of small problems with a plumbing maintenance inspection. Think of it as a tune-up for your plumbing system. During a plumbing maintenance inspection, our expert plumbers will look at 11 crucial points of your plumbing system to safeguard your system for Thanksgiving and any holidays after.
During a maintenance inspection, our plumbers will:
- Conduct a water heater safety inspection
- Inspect all toilets
- Check the main sewer line
- Check all drain lines
- Look for pressurized plumbing
- Inspect for proper ventilation
- Check the pluming insulation
- Look for gas leaks
- Test the quality of your tap water
- Inspect all shutoff valves
- And verify everything is working with your clean out
After thoroughly inspecting everything on this list, your plumber will give an in-depth analysis of your system with any advice and next steps.
Save Your Sink and Avoid Any Clogging This Thanksgiving
One of the biggest reasons we see kitchen sinks clog during Thanksgiving is because of something we like to call “too many cooks in the kitchen.” While it may be nice to have an extra set of hands, make sure you lay down some ground rules of what can and can’t be put into the garbage disposal.
While most disposals have the word “garbage” in the title, you can’t treat it like a trash can and expect it to function properly on Thanksgiving. Here is a list of food items that should never make it down your kitchen sink:
- Cooking Oils, Butters, and Fats – Butters and fats are great for cooking because as they heat up, they become liquid. Unfortunately, as they cool, these liquids harden again. This is the number one reason they should never be put down your sink.When a warm cooking liquid is dumped down the sink, it begins to harden as it cools. When cooking oil hardens in your pipes, they can leave a thick sludge that will inevitably clog your drain. Instead of pouring liquids down the drain, pour them directly into the trash can or into an old-fashioned coffee can.
- Eggshells – There was a rumor going around that grinding eggshells in a garbage disposal helps sharpen the blades. We’re here to bust another myth and let you know this isn’t true.If eggshells are ground up in the disposal, they break into tiny shards that will only add to any preexisting clogs. Additionally, the egg’s gooey membrane can wrap around the disposal motor causing it to get sticky and slow. When disposing of eggshells, the best place for them is the garbage or compost bin.
- Coffee Grounds – We’re also here to bust the myth that coffee grounds are water soluble. They are not and dumping them in the sink will add to any preexisting messes or clogs in your pipes.
- Pasta and Rice – We love the way pasta and rice grows as it soaks up water, your pipes have the opposite feeling. When pasta or rice is put down the drain, they keep expanding. Over time, they will expand and stick to any messes that are already lurking in your pipes. For the sake of your pipes, please do not put pasta or rice down the drain.
- Stringy Vegetables – You know how stringy vegetable like celery are? Now think about those strings wrapping themselves around your garbage disposal’s motor. Stringy vegetables, such as asparagus, leafy greens, or artichokes, can’t break down enough to be flushed down the sink. Therefore, it’s best to dump them in the garbage or compost.
- Chemical Drain Cleaner – Far too often we see homeowners treat a slow draining sink with a chemical cleaner. Please do not do this. Chemical drain cleaners are made of chemicals that can corrode pipes, dissolve glue that hold pipes together, and even crack your toilet bowl. Not to mention they are bad for the environment and only a temporary solution. Instead of doing more damage to your plumbing system, we beg of you, please call a plumber.
Keeping these items away from your kitchen sink will help you, and your family, have a stress-free holiday.
You Need to Prepare Your HVAC Too
Now, more than ever, we’re spending more time at home. Because of this, it’s essential to be mindful of maintaining your HVAC system. When it comes to the holidays, we think of baking pies, decorative candles, and more time at home and together. When preparing your home for Thanksgiving, there are a few things you can do to make sure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. They are:
- Don’t Forget to Change Your Air Filter – It feels like every fire season is worse than the last. Because of this, it’s crucial you check your air filter before you turn on your furnace. Not only will this help protect and preserve your indoor air, it will also help save money.A clean air filter acts as your first line of defense against air contaminates. Air filters also help keep your HVAC system from working too hard. A clean air filter allows for easy air flow while a dirty air filter hinders air flow, forcing your HVAC system to work twice as hard to produce the same amount of air.
- Regulate the AC temperature – One of the best things about cooking a turkey is how the whole house gets warm and toasty. On the other hand, it means your AC unit may be working overtime. Because of this, we suggest taking the AC down a notch or two.After the kitchen appliances have time to cool down, make sure to turn down the AC. This will help save money on utility bills and help preserve your equipment.
- Schedule a Tune-Up – If you haven’t had your furnace tuned-up, it’s time to make that appointment. The HVAC experts at Bell Brothers inspect every element of your furnace and will make you aware of any issues it may have. Additionally, they preform a professional grade cleaning to make sure any dust, debris, or allergens are out of your system.
- Consider an Air Scrubber – Do you know that UV light technology is one of the best ways to purify your indoor air? If you haven’t thought about adding an air scrubber your existing HVAC system, you absolutely should.Air scrubbers clean indoor air contaminates—including bacteria and viruses—from your treated air. They also help clear the air of any smells. Think a lingering cooking smell or the stink of your dog after a long day of play.
Don’t Forget Safety Hazards
When it comes to holidays, there are things lurking in your home that can pose a significant risk to your home and health. Perhaps the biggest one is to limit the number of burning candles
in your home. Also, be sure to choose soy or beeswax candles; they emit less indoor air contaminates
than traditional paraffin wax candles.
Another thing to keep in mind is don’t overload your outlets. Between slow cookers, decorative lights, and other appliances, it’s easy to overload your outlets and potentially blow a fuse or cause an electrical fire. We recommend limiting the number of things you plug in and making sure nothing stays plugged in for too long.
A great way to spot any other potential hazards is to do a deep clean of your home a week before the holiday. While cleaning, make sure to check your outlets for any damage. Also, it’s good to vacuum or dust around your return vents to make sure any treated air can flow freely through your home.
Bell Brothers is Here for All Your Holiday Needs
Rome wasn’t built in a day, just like your pipes won’t back up over the course of one meal. If you want to schedule a plumbing maintenance inspection or are interested in more tips for preparing your home for Thanksgiving, reach out to the professionals at Bell Brothers. Our expertly trained HVAC technicians and plumbers are ready for any job and ready to help your home during the holidays. If you live in Sacramento, Stockton, Vacaville, or the Bay Area give us a call or click here to book an appointment online