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Three Major Holiday Plumbing Problems that are Preventable

When the holidays come around, everyone converges on your house, including Aunt Irene, Uncle Richie, all your siblings and the grandkids too. That means that your plumbing is going to get a lot of heavy use, wear and tear during from Turkey Day all the way through New Year's Day.

At Benicia Plumbing, we encounter this scenario all the time, so here are three common issues and how you can deal with them: 

1.) You're Out of Hot Water!

If there are more people at your house and there is more hot water usage than usual, your hot water heater might not be able to keep up with its current setting. If your hot water heater is already performing poorly, consider replacing it with a newer, better and more energy efficient model before guests arrive. Check your water heater’s temperature setting and make necessary adjustments, but do not set above 125 degrees. Plan adequate time between showers, so the water heater has time to recover. Finally, consult our last article on hot-water-heater maintenance and issues that arise with water-heater age, and call an experienced plumber to evaluate, repair, or replace your unit if necessary.

2.) Your Drain is Stopped Up!

Drain clogs can quickly put a damper on your holiday gathering and can lead to unexpected costs if they necessitate the services of a plumber on a holiday. Knowing what not to pour down your drain and garbage disposal can save you big time and prevent headaches. Below are the main clogging culprits: Fats, oils, and grease: When greasy substances get wet, they expand and congeal because they cannot mix with water, and they cause clogs deep in the plumbing system. Liquid fats and cooking oils solidify and cause blockages.

Egg shells, nuts, coffee grounds, poultry skin, fruit and vegetable peels, rice, pastry dough, bones, seeds, and pits: None of these items should ever be inserted in a sink drain or garbage disposal. Diapers, dental floss, sanitary napkins, and tampons: These items all clog drains. Even if diapers claim to be flushable, chances are they are too strong to be disintegrated in the plumbing system and will cause a clog. Dental floss wraps around waste and prevents it from fully disintegrating. If you encounter a clog, you may be able to dislodge it yourself. Many clogs can be dislodged using a sink plunger, which is smaller and shaped differently than a toilet plunger. To use the sink plunger, place the plunger over the sink’s drain hole, ensuring enough water at the bottom to form a seal, and then pump the plunger up and down. If that doesn’t work, try pouring hot or near-boiling water down the drain to break up organic compounds and soap scum within the clog. 

3.) Your Faucet Drips!

There are four different types of faucets:

  • Compression washer faucet
  • Ball-type faucet
  • Cartridge faucet
  • Ceramic-disk faucet

Each faucet-type encounters different issues and must be repaired differently. Typical reasons for faucet dripping include corrosion, mineral deposits on internal parts, and defective gaskets, O-rings, and washers. Most drippy faucet issues can be easily repaired, but ignoring a faulty faucet can turn a simple repair into a $1,000 project. Additionally, a drippy faucet can lead to over 100 gallons of water waste every moth – bad for the environment and bad for your wallet. Common causes of drippy faucets include the O-ring can become loose or wear out over time with regular usage, causing the faucet to drip near the handle. This problem occurs specifically in cartridge faucets and replacing the damaged O-ring can fix the issue. Accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode. This causes leakage around the spout area and can be prevented by cleaning the valve seat regularly, with the help of an experienced plumber.

One of the most common causes of a dripping faucet is a worn-out washer. Every time the faucet is used, the washer is forced against the valve seat, which causes friction and leads to the washer wearing out. This can be amended by replacing the washer ASAP. A washer that has been installed improperly or is not the right size can also cause leakage. This can be remedied simply by replacing the washer with a properly installed, proper sized washer.

Continuous usage may cause the adjusting ring and packing nuts in the steam screw to become loose, causing leakage near the faucet handle. If you notice leakage from the handle, you need to either tighten the packing nut or completely replace it.

About Benicia Plumbing

When you do business with Benicia Plumbing, you can count accountability, punctuality, transparency and quality and that is our non-negotiable promise. From the first interaction through the successful completion of any project, you can be certain that Benicia Plumbing, Inc. will endeavor to do everything it can to make your experience the best it possibly can. You can also rest assured that Benicia Plumbing will always maintain the necessary licenses and insurance coverage required by the State of California, and when your job is completed, we will always leave the job site cleaner than when we got there.

Sources: YouTube and AARP