Santa Baby, Here Are Some Tips to Avoid a Christmas Plumbing EmergencyCat McCarthy
Michael Bublé is warbling, the ham’s just been carved, roast potatoes are out of the oven (those yummy, crispy, half-smashed Jamie Oliver kind) and the mango pavlova is in the fridge patiently awaiting its big reveal. You’re ready to go, the lunch that you’ve been pumping up for the past 30 odd days when… Aunty Jean says the sink is blocked. Your nephew George races in and says the toilet won’t flush. Nana says there’s no hot water to soak the roasting tray in…
We know you never really WANT to call a plumber (we don’t take offence). But on Christmas Day you REALLY don’t want to call us. You want to enjoy your beautiful meal with your family and friends and eat a sickening amount of dessert because it’s a Universal cheat day and the calories don’t count.
So how can you prevent a Christmas Day plumbing emergency? Below are our top tips to avoid having to call McCarthy Plumbing Group during the Christmas public holidays.
Tip 1 – Scrape those plates
When you have a house full of guests there’s a mountain of dishes to be done. Make sure you get everyone to scrape their scraps into the bin, so they don’t end up in the sink or dishwasher. Not that there should be any scraps because who in their right mind leaves Christmas meal scraps?! Kitchen scraps are a common offender of drain blockages over the Christmas period so ensure you use a sink strainer when you let any water out of the sink.
Tip 2 – Don’t cause a fatberg
Please for the love of elf on a shelf do NOT flush any kind of fat or oil down the drain. It will harden in your pipes and cause a fatberg. These are not pretty but will cost a pretty penny to remove. Pour any excess oil into a container or on some paper towel and put straight into the bin.
Tip 3 – Be a good bathroom host
Make sure you leave a bin in your toilets and bathrooms. Guests won’t want to walk out of a bathroom with a handful of personal rubbish. To encourage your guests to dispose of their bathroom waste thoughtfully, and not flush things like female hygiene products or flushable (LOL) wipes, providing a bin is necessary.
Tip 4 – Now Dasher, then Dancer, then Prancer, then Vixen; stagger your showers
Another tip when having a house full of guests is to stagger your showers, leaving about 10 minutes between each one. This gives your drains more of a chance to clear in times of high usage, especially if you have any pre-existing concerns with your drains and their capacity.
Tip 5 – It’s just like with Christmas shopping… the time is NOW, not Christmas Eve
If you have an old hot water system threatening to die, a rusted and frayed flexi hose that could burst at any time or a leaky tap with a drip that gets a tiny bit bigger every day NOW is the time to do something about it. With you more likely to be at home a lot more during the holiday period, and potentially with a house full of guests, any extra pressure put on these plumbing problems could cause a Christmas plumbing disaster.
Don’t wait to schedule these things in a few days before Christmas, this is the busiest time of the year for trades businesses, with everyone wanting their homes in ship shape before their guests arrive. Book your plumbing appointment in TODAY to avoid disappointment.
Tip 6 – Turn your water meter off if you’re leaving town
We had a friend in Queensland who recently moved back into their home after months of it being uninhabitable. Their home flooded while they were away camping due to a burst flexi hose. As mentioned in a previous blog, the most common time that a flexi hose tends to fail is when someone is away for a weekend or on holiday.
Why? During a normal day, we brush our teeth, wash our hands, have a glass of water, clean the dishes and flush the toilet, with water coming through our pipes all day long. During the night when we sleep, the water flow is dormant in the pipes waiting to be released by the flush of the toilet or turn of the tap in the morning when we awake.
The water in the pipes is pressurised, and the morning flush of the toilet releases that pressure. When we go away on holiday, the water in the pipes is under constant pressure and does not get its daily ‘release’. This doesn’t prove a problem on most occasions, however if a flexi pipe is damaged or ageing, it is a weak point in the pipe system and its integrity is compromised, causing the risk of a burst hose and escaped water.
Turning off your water at the mains is one way of ensuring you won’t come back to a soggy home. Instructions on how to turn off your water meter are found here.
Help! I have a Christmas plumbing emergency!
Followed those tips and your pipes have still gone jingle bells up?
McCarthy Plumbing Group are open for business as usual during December and January, and on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day we will be on call for emergencies only. Plumbing emergencies include burst pipes, blocked drains, gas leaks and no hot water.
In keeping with our personal value of being a transparent business, our rates will be higher on these public holidays, reflecting the need to pay our plumbers on call appropriately to their award requirements. (Please be cautious of companies that advertising $0*** public holiday rates). Our plumbing emergency number is 03 9931 0905.