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Ask people how they are this time of year and they will say, “Busy!”

And busy we are. Holiday parties and family gatherings are added to the normal routine. Kitchens are busier than usual. Our appliances are working overtime. Add extra house guests and that includes our plumbing.

There’s never a good time for a plumbing emergency. Yet in the middle of preparing a Christmas dinner is really a bad time. So how can we make sure our pipes are happy?

Here’s some ideas to keep Christmas a happy time in your kitchen and bathrooms:

Be careful what you feed your disposal. When we hear the dull roar of the motor, we think that disposal in our sink can eat anything. The truth is, it can get “indigestion” just like we do. Don’t put fiber rich foods like celery or seeds down the disposal. Also, rice and pasta are better put in the garbage can.

Don’t pour grease or fat down the disposal or the sink drain. Hot grease looks like it will slide right down. But when grease/fat cools, it congeals and clogs pipes over time. Dispose of the grease in a separate container, being sure to cool it down so as not to be a fire hazard.

Run the kitchen faucet for at least 20 seconds before and after you put something down the drain or disposal. Let the water be your friend in washing it out all the way into the drain pipe.

To save energy, be sure your dishwasher is full before you run it. Also, run it at night while everyone is sleeping. Your kitchen will be quieter during the day and you’ll save money on your electric bill.

If in doubt, don’t flush it. Cotton balls, feminine hygiene products, make removal cloths, etc, are better thrown away.

Set your water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees. This will keep the water hot enough but not so hot to be dangerous. If you have a house full of overnight guests, space out your showers by 15 minutes to give your water heater time to recover.

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