Tips & tricks to avoid a holiday plumbing disaster |

MISSOULA – The holidays are a time to hang out with family and friends, and the last person you’ll likely want to call on Christmas is the plumber.

Bill Schaff, president of Garden City Plumbing, Missoula, said your plumbing could get heavier during the holidays.

“All of your sinks, your drain, your water heater, your heating system will be stressed because you have a lot more people at home.”

You should avoid throwing things like bacon fat or ground coffee down the drain. However, if in the past you weren’t careful what you poured down the drain, then you should “spray out” your pipes before your guests come over.

“What it is is that a high pressure pipe goes down your drain, repels all that stuff, puts it down the drain, and then you have an open pipe again,” he said.

You should also make sure that your water heater is not too old.

“We always tell people you can replace this water heater if you want or it will be replaced when the water heater wants to be replaced, which means that if you emphasize the water heater is going to die,” he said.

Most water heaters can be checked for age by looking at their serial number, which is usually the last two digits of the year they were installed.

If you come across a leak on Christmas Day, be sure to turn off your water, Schaff said, and if you don’t know where that cordon is, you should find out before a disaster strikes.

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