• Geoff Burke

3 Step Holiday Checklist Before Having Guests At Your Home



Hello again everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of “How NOT to Call the Plumber!”.


It may not feel like it, but we’re just a few weeks away from the holidays! Since things are slowly getting back to some sense of normalcy, friends and family may be coming for dinner or drinks, or even to stay for a few days. This week, we’re going to be looking at a few of those annoying, yet important tasks to take care of before they arrive!


1. Slow Flushing Toilet


It seems everyone has it – that one annoying toilet that just won’t flush properly. Maybe you have to hold the handle down for 10 seconds, or maybe you have to flush it two or three times for it to do it’s job. Either way, you’re going to want to get it sorted out! There are a couple of potential issues that may be happening here:


If you have to hold the handle down for a longer than normal period of time, you’re likely working with an improperly functioning flapper. Flapper issues are usually quite easily resolved, assuming you can find the correct replacement. In most cases, you will get away with either a 2” or 3” “Universal” replacement that can be bought at most hardware stores. Just simply pop the old one off, replace with the new one, and adjust the length of the chain until it pushing on the handle makes it function properly!


If you have the issue of having to flush 2 or 3 times before anything goes down the drain, you likely have some sort of blockage. These blockages are usually not where you think they would be! In most cases, it is going to be a buildup of “Uric Salt” in the toilet (a mineral that builds up over time from urine). Cleaning this yourself can be a bit tough, as it often requires specialized chemicals! Before calling the plumber, try pouring some CLR in the bowl and letting it sit for an hour or two. Make sure to flush it all the way through the system when you are done!


2. Slow Filling Toilet


Opposite to above, many of you have toilets that flush just fine, but take 10 minutes to fill back up! This isn’t good for when there are a few people over who might need to use the washroom.


If this is the case, the most likely scenario is that you have an issue with the fill valve in the toilet - that part on the left side of the tank responsible for refilling the tank. In most cases, rather than trying to fix it, it is much easier just to replace the fill valve altogether!


3. Slow Draining Sinks


Whether it’s in the bathroom or kitchen, you need your sinks to be functioning properly during the holidays. You can’t be fighting with a clogged kitchen sink while trying to cook a turkey, as well as a thousand sides! If you are experiencing a slow sink, there are a few things you can try on your own:


First, using a coat hanger or something similar, try to fish out anything that may have found it’s way into the drain. Often this is enough to clear the issue completely! If that doesn’t work, pour a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to baking soda down the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Follow this with a pot of boiling water and see if that does the trick! If none of that works, unfortunately you will likely need to call the plumber, as we would need to come in with our larger mechanical snakes to properly clear things out.


While none of these are life or death issues, we all want to make sure we offer the best experience to guests in our homes (yes, even your in-laws)! I hope you all have another wonderful weekend and we’ll see you next time 😊.

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