One of the worst times to have a plumbing breakdown is during the holidays when everyone is gathering for good food, fun, and family time. Unfortunately, when plumbing systems see increased water flow, catastrophes can happen, like clogged sinks, toilets, and pipe leaks. The good news is that you can be proactive when it comes to plumbing emergency prevention and making sure your Chicago building’s plumbing system is ready for all visitors.

Prevent a Holiday Plumbing Emergency by Being Proactive

During the holidays, your condo drain lines will see an increase in usage as more people use the bathrooms in individual units and throughout the building. More grease, food scraps, and other items will also be pushed down the drain lines due to those large holiday meals. If your drains aren’t ready for increased usage, you could experience severe clogs and water damage in your building. You may even have to call a plumber for an emergency plumbing repair, which can be expensive, especially if the plumbing emergency occurs on a weekend or on the actual holiday.

1. Recommend That Your Condo Owners Make Minor Plumbing Repairs Before Guests Arrive

If you run a condo, it’s important to let your condo owners know that plumbing emergencies within their units are their responsibility, not the HOA’s responsibility. This means that if they accidentally clog a sink or toilet, they’ll have to hire and pay for the plumber. The good news is that you can send out a tip sheet so that they can do a check of their unit’s plumbing system before the guests arrive. If they already have slow drains or a problematic toilet, now is the time to have those repairs completed, not when all the holiday guests are packing the condo.

2. Remind Your Residents About the Hazards of Improper Drain Use

Create a flyer that explains the dos and don’ts of drains to remind your guests of items that should never be put down the garbage disposal or toilet. Many of your residents will be preparing and cooking foods they don’t normally cook, like giant hams and turkeys, deviled eggs, and specialty vegetables. They may even be deep-frying certain foods in order to create holiday specialties.

Individuals should never put meat or vegetable skins down garbage disposals. Likewise, grease, oils, and lard should be put into a separate container for disposal and never dumped down a drain. When it comes to toilets, the only things that should be flushed are human waste and toilet paper. Paper towels, facial tissues, feminine hygiene products, and wet wipes, even if they say biodegradable and toilet safe, should never be flushed.

3. Wait a Few Minutes Between Showers

Remind your residents if they are having overnight guests during the holidays to wait at least 10 minutes between showers. Showers are high-pressure systems, and the pipes aren’t designed for constant use. Waiting a few minutes between showers can give the pipes time to relax. Not to mention, it also gives the water heater time to create more hot water so that no one is taking a cold shower.

4. Put a Trash Can in the Bathroom

Recommend that your residents have a trash can in their bathroom(s) if they don’t already. This ensures that people have a place to toss sanitary wipes and hygiene products that are not toilet paper, and it helps prevent your guests from using the toilet as a trash can.

5. Perform Preventative Maintenance on Your Condo Plumbing System Before the Holidays to Prevent a Plumbing Emergency

To help ensure your entire building is ready for the influx of visitors, make sure your plumbing system and condo drain lines are in good working order. While your residents are responsible for the pipes within their individual units, the condo HOA and management team are responsible for all the pipes located within the public spaces. To ensure all of your drain and water supply lines are functioning correctly, make sure you have them inspected for leaks, cracks, and corrosion. You may even want to have your water tested for proper pressure and any contaminants prior to the holidays. If you do find any problems, take steps to repair them, like having leaks fixed and your drains cleaned.

6. Take Steps to Save Water

The holidays often mean an increase in water usage and higher water bills. Prior to the start of the holiday parties and gatherings, take steps to decrease your water usage. You can do this by installing low-flow aerators on all faucets that are located in public spaces and low-flow showerheads on any public use showers, like those in swimming pools and gym areas. If your residents are already using low-flow toilets, remind them to place signs for guests explaining the usage of the toilet. Since low-flow toilets use less water, they cannot flush as much toilet paper as a standard toilet.

Building Pipe Assessments for Condo Plumbing Systems

Here at Nu Flow, we can help you have a smooth holiday with our pipe lining services. If you suspect that your condo’s drain lines aren’t in good condition and may be prone to blockages this holiday season, you can schedule a building pipe assessment. A building pipe assessment checks your condo plumbing system for problems like cracked and broken pipes, clogs, and corrosion. After your inspection, our pipe lining experts will give you a detailed report on the status of your drain lines and an estimate for pipelining, which includes thoroughly cleaning your drain lines.

To learn more about pipelining and how it can help you keep your drains flowing throughout the holidays and after, give us a call at 815-790-9000.