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It’s the 4th of July and you’re ready. The grill is hot, the hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob are all ready to be flame-broiled. You bought sparklers and roman candles for a little extra fun. The patio has citronella candles ready to keep the mosquitoes at bay, there are red, white and blue desserts, and everyone is in good spirits.

Best of all, you’ve got your American flag proudly displayed over the door. While plumbing preparations are certainly not the most enjoyable part of party planning, they are certainly important.

Don’t worry if you haven’t given much thought to plumbing preparations in anticipation of your 4th of July blowout. In this article, we have outlined some simple, easy-to-follow plumbing tips that will leave you better prepared for your party, and will eliminate the possibility of a potential party-killing plumbing disaster.

Everything PLUS the Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on the circumstances.

Whether you put too many scraps down the disposal or the motor simply burned out, garbage disposals have a tendency to fail at the worst possible times.

A clogged sink is certainly not something you want to contend with when you’re trying to finish getting ready for a barbecue; desperately trying to reach a plumber instead of putting the final touches on your fruit torte. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the dreaded clogged sink scenario.

First, don’t put too many scraps down the drain. When you’re peeling a large number of vegetables, it can sometimes just be easier to do it directly under the faucet, allowing the scraps to go right down the drain and into the disposal.

However, even the most powerful garbage disposals have their limits and can become overwhelmed by the volume of scraps. So, while it may be easier to peel veggies directly over the sink, peel them over the garbage can instead, and then give them a quick rinse. Another suggestion is to use grease traps.

During a busy barbecue, other people may be using your kitchen to help prepare and manage food. A well-meaning person may dump a tray of grease directly down the drain of your sink, without realizing the potential havoc that they are wreaking on your plumbing. Grease traps are a good way to not only protect your plumbing; they’re also an easy way to make cleaning up more manageable.

Fighting Clogged Toilet Disasters

A plunger can mean the difference between a minor, 5-minute unclogging procedure that you can easily accomplish yourself versus an embarrassing, messy and costly disaster.

If your toilet clogs for whatever reason (simply flushing too much toilet tissue is enough to do the trick), sometimes, without a plunger readily available, people panic and continue flushing, until the toilet overflows.

This can cause a true mess, allowing unclean water to spill onto the floor and beyond, requiring repairs and major sanitizing. This alone can ruin a party, especially if you have to call a plumber to mitigate the mess. So, as part of preparing for your party, in every bathroom, just like you’d make sure there are clean hand towels, plenty of soap, toilet tissue, cleaning supplies, air freshener, and a brush, make sure there’s a plunger that’s easily accessible.

It’s simply part of keeping your bathrooms stocked with the requisite items. Simply turning off the water supply to the toilet, vigorously using the plunger to disengage any stubborn clogs by forming a tight seal and using a little elbow grease, you should be absolutely fine; disaster averted.

The Shutoff Valve

Do you know where the shutoff valve is that controls the water to your house? You would be surprised how many people don’t. They’re not always in the same place, and they’re not always somewhere obvious.

Sometimes, they’re camouflaged by landscaping for aesthetic purposes, which looks nice but can be quite problematic when you need to shut off your water in a hurry. Make sure you know where the shutoff valve is (and how to use it).

It’s not always as easy as flipping a switch; in some situations, you need certain tools to access the valve. When your home is flooding and you need to shut the water off immediately, you do not want to be Googling the location of the shutoff valve. Take the time to locate it and familiarize yourself with it; it’s a simple task that can save you a lot of time and trouble.

The tips outlined above should help make your 4th of July party a success, free of preventable plumbing disasters. Schedule an appointment today with one of the friendly plumbing experts from Always Plumbing Heating and Air of Mission Viejo, (949) 272-8192 . Have a wonderful 4th of July!

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