Memorial Day weekend is perhaps the most popular time of year to throw a barbecue. And if you’ve invited friends and family over, you’re probably already feeling the heat. Don’t let a plumbing disaster cause you even more stress!

An influx in guests often puts more pressure on your plumbing – and the last thing you want to deal with on your Monday off is a backed up kitchen sink or a clogged toilet. While clogs often require the assistance of a professional to remove the blockage, there are still some steps you can take to remove or prevent one from occurring this weekend:

Sink Clogs:

  • Clogs can often be dislodged by using a sink plunger (smaller, differently shaped than a toilet plunger). Place the plunger over the sink’s drain hole, ensuring there’s enough water at the bottom to form a seal. Pump the plunger up and down – while keeping a good seal – to help dislodge a clog.
  • Whatever you do, avoid using over the counter drain clearing products! Instead, opt for hot or near boiling water. Pour this down the drain to try breaking up any organic compounds or soap scum. A combination of hot water and baking soda also adds more power to your drain clearing efforts.

Toilet clogs:

  • Use a plunger as your first line of defense with a clogged toilet. But if a plunger doesn’t work, a drain auger (commonly referred to as a “snake”) can be pushed in the drain to break up the clog. Be sure to use these carefully, while they wont harm your pipes – they may scratch porcelain or ceramics.
  • Toilets often endure items being flushed that should instead by thrown away such as paper towels or baby wipes. Those items can quickly block a drain line; especially in homes where tree roots have infiltrated the main sewer line.

Remember, Memorial Day isn’t just a day for backyard barbeques and celebrating an extra day away from the office – it honors the men and women of the US Armed Forces who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country. Take a moment during your Memorial Day BBQs to remember the sacrafices made. And if you do notice issues arising with your plumbing fixtures, give us a call at Patterson Plumbing & Heating today!

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