DEC 01, 2017

When most people think about the holidays, they think of family and friends, getting and giving gifts, and vacation. Plumbing is most likely the furthest thing from their mind. Rightfully so, as there is enough to worry about during the holiday season. However, if you’re not careful, you will learn why the holidays can be a very busy time for Phoenix plumbers.


Holidays and the days immediately after (like Black Friday) are often marked by a spike in calls for plumbing services. This is due to what is essentially a perfect storm. With an increased number of people using plumbing fixtures and all of the cooking that goes along with holiday traditions, you are simply more likely to experience a plumbing emergency this time of the year. Consider the following:


We are not talking about the added stress of family in town (although, we feel for you). Phoenix weather is beautiful this time of year and it stands to reason that your out-of-town family would be eager to come spend the holidays at your house. And while having that much family in such close proximity can be taxing on even the most agreeable hosts, plumbers are more concerned about the added stress on the plumbing system from the additional people in your home. For example, if you have family and friends staying with you, they are going to be using a lot more of your water.

Between doing more dishes and people taking more showers, your water heater is going to be working overtime. This can lead to problems, especially if you have a hot water heater that is on the small side — it’s no wonder that so many people call to ask us to install the new water heater first thing on Black Friday.

We also tend to get a lot of calls after homeowners try to take matters into their own hands by turning up the temperature valve on their water heaters to try to compensate for the overtaxed fixture. Instead, they find that their water is too hot to take a shower, perhaps even hot enough to be dangerous. Keep that in mind this holiday season and remember that it is not a good idea to adjust the temperature valve on the water heater unless you absolutely know what you are doing.

In the meantime, ask your guests to wait at least 10-15 minutes between showering if possible to allow your water heater to catch up. This also allows time for drains to clear properly. Then consider upgrading to a larger water heater or adding a second water heater before Christmas rolls around and it’s time to do it all again.


One of the number one issues Phoenix plumbers deal with this time of year is clogs – both in sinks and garbage disposals. While most people are aware there are certain things to avoid putting into your garbage disposal, it can be tough to maintain that discipline during the holidays. First of all, with the added people in your home comes the added possibility of someone putting something down the drain that they shouldn’t. It is much harder to keep an eye on things with so much going on. On top of that, the dreaded “food coma” is very likely. You are tired, you have just had a tremendously heavy, delicious meal and it starts to become easier during cleanup to just put things down the disposal.

Let’s take a look at how you can avoid the inconvenience of having to call a plumber. Cleaning as you cook throughout the day is a good start. If you clean as you go instead of waiting until the end there is a better chance you will throw things in the garbage instead of just shoving it down the disposal.

You should also run the disposal as you go. Many people often forget or wait until the disposal is full before running it. This can lead to compacting inside the disposal, which doesn’t allow the food waste to flow through the pipe correctly. The faucet and disposal itself should be running BEFORE you put food waste into as well. This helps avoid clogging and lets the disposal do its job with less strain.

You should also try to avoid putting certain things down your drains and disposals. Refrain from putting fats and oils down drains, even in liquid form. They can become solid once they settle in the pipes and drains, not allowing proper water flow and causing clogs. You should instead wipe your greasy and fatty pots and pans with a paper towel and throw away.

Starches and stringy foods can also wreak havoc on your disposal. These foods do not break down easily, and include things such as celery, potato peelings and some fruit peelings. Turkey and chicken skins should also be thrown away instead of using the disposal.

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company. But they can quickly turn from a festive environment to a rather hectic one if plumbing issues arise. Be sure to follow the guidelines above to ensure your holiday season goes smoothly. And if you do run into plumbing issues despite your best efforts, remember that we are available 24 hours a day! As for the crazy uncle, there isn’t much we can do for you on that.