Everyone enjoys a party! It’s the perfect way to get all of your friends together and share great conversation, delicious food, and good times. If you’re planning a party or similar event and want it to go off without a hitch, you need to ensure the ability of your plumbing, hot water, taps, drains, and more to cope with 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.
1. Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are up to the task.
Your washing machine and dishwasher will see plenty of use before and after the party, getting dishes and linens spick and span. Make sure that those machines are in good working order. If you live in a hard water area, get some descaling chemicals and run them through. This will help to keep your appliances functioning smoothly.
2. Fix dripping taps and any loose fittings.
Don’t put off dealing with that dripping tap any longer. Parties involve lots of people, and that means more wear and tear on all of the faucets in your house. Tighten up any loose tap fittings to stop them from getting damaged when your guests use them. You can repair a dripping tap by replacing the washer, or call a plumber if you’d like expert help.
3. Know where to shut the water off before you need to.
If you don’t already know where it is, find the central valve that turns the water to your house on and off. You probably won’t need to use it, but if you have a plumbing emergency at your party and there’s water everywhere, you’ll want to shut things off quickly.
4. If it’s a cold time of year, deal with your frozen pipes.
If you’re having a party in the winter, say around Christmas or the Super Bowl, you might have to deal with frozen pipes, especially early in the morning. Exposed pipes or pipes that aren’t insulated properly can get very cold and freeze, not allowing any water to get through. In extreme cases, this could cause your pipes to burst. You can help to reduce problems caused by frozen pipes by getting them insulated or having a plumber install a recirculation pump. This pump runs in cold weather and regularly pumps small amounts of warm water through your plumbing system to help prevent pipes from freezing.
5. Unblock 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’ve got a blockage. You can try to clear the block using a chemical drain unblocker. If that doesn’t work, unscrew the trap underneath your sink—just make sure you have a bucket handy to catch the water and anything else that comes out. You should also check your shower and bathroom drains and traps to make sure everything is draining away quickly. If a chemical unblocker or clearing the trap doesn’t solve the problem, you might have a blockage elsewhere in your system. In that case—or anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed—call an expert, so they can sort things out before they get worse.
6. Check that you’ve got hot water and plenty of it.
After a big party, you’ll want to have enough hot water to do the dishes. If you’ve got guests staying over, they will probably want to take hot showers in the morning. This means you should check your hot water tank and adjust the temperature as needed. Do a visual inspection of the outside of the tank. If you see any leaks, blemishes, or other areas that cause concern, get in touch with a plumber to check them out.
7. Ensure everyone can answer the call of nature.
If there’s more than one guest wanting to use the toilet, make sure they let the cistern refill before flushing it again. Flushing a toilet too many times can mean there’s not enough water to clear the system, resulting in blockages and backups. Never flush anything down the toilet other than toilet tissue. Other materials can cause blockages in your system or further down the line.
8. Don’t overtax your garbage disposal.
Parties involve food, and lots of it. One of the most common issues that plumbers deal with is broken waste disposal units. You certainly don’t want to have to put up with that during or after your big event. Here’s how to keep your garbage disposal in good working order leading up to and after the party:
- Every few days pour some dish soap into your unit, and let it run for a few seconds to clear it.
- Make sure you run lots of cold water through your garbage disposal as you’re operating it; this helps to grind the food and get it through the system properly.
- Cut larger pieces of food into smaller pieces to make it easier for the disposal to grind it up.
- Get your disposal serviced on a regular basis by a qualified plumber.
- Never put plastic, glass, paper, or metal into a garbage disposal.
- Don’t put fat, oil, or grease into your waste disposal either; they can get stuck and block the drain.
- Don’t put fibrous foods (asparagus, celery, carrots, potato peelings, onion skins) in your disposal, as these can become stuck in the motor.
- It’s a bad idea to grind animal bones or eggshells in your disposal.
- Rice and pasta can expand inside your garbage disposal and clog pipes.
You might want to make a list of the items you can and can’t put down the garbage disposal and hang it nearby, so partygoers know. Or request that no one uses the garbage disposal at the party, leaving you the responsibility of taking care of everything at the end. Following these simple plumbing tips will help your party go off without a hitch and ensure it’s remembered for the right reasons—fun, games, music, laughter— and not the wrong ones—leaks, floods, clogged toilets. Taking a few precautions now will make sure your plumbing stays in great shape. If you’re not confident about maintaining or repairing any part of your plumbing system, call an expert. A qualified plumber like the ones at C&W Plumbing will be able to sort out any problems long before your guests arrive.
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