Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays, and Black Friday isn’t just hectic for stores. It’s one of our plumbers’ busiest days of the year, some places even call it “brown Friday.” Between family, friends, food, and shopping; it’s a holiday that checks every box on the fun list. If you want to keep the holiday fun, you need the most important ingredient: preparation.
We know Thanksgiving this year will probably look a little different than it has in the past. Despite this, Thanksgiving is still a time for lively celebration, even if our definition of fun needs to change a bit. Even if you’re adhering to the CDC’s holiday guidelines, your plumbing, appliances, and HVAC will still bear the brunt of the holiday.
Because we want to help minimize stress during a joyful time, we’re sharing tips for preparing your home for Thanksgiving. They include everything from plumbing and drains, to air and HVAC.
Preparing Your Home for Thanksgiving, Plumbing Style
Our plumbers are running calls on Black Friday for a good reason. During the holidays, most plumbing systems see a surge in use by friends and family. Cooking a Thanksgiving meal is going to put a lot more strain on your kitchen than a routine dinner. This goes for your bathroom plumbing as well. Holiday guests mean your shower, toilet, and sink are being used much more normal.
We understand your home may not be seeing as much traffic this year due to global circumstances, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re taking care of you plumbing and taking care of small problems before they become huge messes.
To avoid any potential stressors, Service Champions offers a plumbing safety inspection. Think of it as a tune-up for your plumbing system. Our plumbers make sure to inspect every part of your plumbing system to ensure a stress (and plumber) free Thanksgiving.
During a safety inspection, our plumbers make sure to check 11-points of your plumbing system. During this check they 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.
Save Your Sink and Avoid Any Clogging This Thanksgiving
Another great way to prepare your home for the holidays is to make sure your family is on the offense when it comes to the kitchen sink. 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 are the top things that should never find their way into your kitchen sink:
- Cooking Oils, Butters, and Fats – All cooking oils turn to a nice liquid when they’re hot. This means many homeowners treat them like a traditional liquid and dump any leftover oils down the drain.The problem is when the oils start to cool and harden. When they’re hot, cooking liquids can drain quickly, but as they cool and harden, you’re left with a gross 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 – We once heard a homeowner say that putting eggshells in the garbage disposal helps sharpen the blades. We are sorry to say that this is not true.When eggshells are ground up, the break into tiny shards that add to any preexisting clogs and the egg’s membrane can wrap around the disposal motor. We recommend composting or trashing any eggshells.
- Coffee Grounds – Somewhere along the line there was a rumor that coffee grounds are water soluble. Unfortunately, they are not. When coffee grounds are dumped down the drain, they add to any mess already lurking in your pipes.
- Pasta and Rice – One way to quickly clog your sink is to put pasta and rice into the garbage disposal. When these two foods are mixed with water they expand and will keep expanding. For the sake of your pipes, please do not put pasta or rice down the drain.
- Stringy Vegetables – Have you ever taken of bite of celery only to have small vegetable strings stuck in your teeth? Now, imagine what those excess strings can do to your disposal? Stringy vegetables, such as asparagus, leafy greens, or artichokes, can’t break down enough to be flushed down the sink.
- Chemical Drain Cleaner – If your sink suddenly starts backing up, your first instinct might be to put a chemical drain cleaner down your pipes. Chemical solutions designed to unclog your drain can cause monumental damage to your pipes, and the whole sewage system.
Over time, these drain cleaners can corrode pipes, dissolve glue that hold pipes together, and even crack your toilet bowl. Avoid putting any of these items down your drain, you’re one step closer to a stress-free holiday.
Don’t Forget to Prepare Your HVAC Too
Your indoor air quality is important, now more than ever. Another way to prepare your home for Thanksgiving is to make sure your HVAC system is ready for family, festivities, and cooking smells. There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your HVAC system on the big turkey day. Some of them are:
- Make Sure to Change Your Air Filter – After fire season, it’s important to check or change the air filter in your HVAC system. Your air filter is the first line of defense from airborne particles.Another bonus of changing your air filter: it saves you money. With a clean air filter, your HVAC system can run at peak efficiency which will help bring down your utility bills.
- Don’t Run the AC too High – We all know how hot it gets when someone is cooking in the kitchen. Think of cooking all day, that’s going to heat the house. While some homeowners opt to blast the AC as hard as they can, we suggest taking it down a notch or two.After you pull everything out of the oven and turn off the kitchen appliances, make sure to turn down the AC. This will save money on your bills and also help preserve your equipment.
- Schedule a Tune-Up – Now is a good time to make an appointment. Our expert HVAC technicians inspect every element of your furnace and will make you aware of any issues it may have. Additionally, the perform a professional grade cleaning to make sure any dust, danger, or allergens are out of your system.
- Consider an Air Scrubber – If your home doesn’t have an air scrubber, you should consider one. An air scrubber is an add-on to your existing HVAC system and adds an extra layer of protection from indoor air contaminates. Bonus, it also helps clear any lingering cooking smells.
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.
Service Champions is Here for All Your Holiday Needs
Rome wasn’t built in a day, just like your pipes didn’t back up over the course of one meal. If you want to schedule a plumbing safety inspection or are interested in more tips for preparing your home for Thanksgiving, reach out to the professionals at Service Champions. Our expertly trained HVAC technicians and plumbers are ready for any job and ready to help your home during the holidays. If you’re in Los Angeles, Orange, or Riverside county, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.