With Halloween tomorrow, I’m guessing plumbing isn’t the number one thing that you’re thinking about. You’ve likely already made a few trips to the store to stock up on candy for trick-or-treaters! Maybe you’ve been busy picking out costumes for the kids or carving pumpkins to set on the front porch!
Nonetheless, you can’t forget about your plumbing system during these fun times. With all of the activities going on during Halloween-time, it’s important to make sure none of these activities have any adverse effects on your pipes. Given the timing of this week’s blog post, we’ll discuss a variety of plumbing nightmares that could easily affect your Halloween planning. Additionally, keep in mind that while all of these are relevant on Halloween night, some of the concepts will help you every other day throughout the year!
You can’t have Halloween without a pumpkin carving night, right? Before you get too carried away carving the perfect jack-o-lantern, make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to do with all of the pumpkin pulp! The one place you don’t want it to end up in is down the sink drain or garbage disposal. Believe it or not, we get our fair share of calls each October and the first few days of November in regards to pumpkin pulp clogs.
Much like stringy vegetables, pumpkin pulp is also a definite no-go for your pipes! Thanks to the seeds and the ability for the sticky pulp to solidify on pipes, you can quickly be looking at a clog! When it does this, you’re likely witnessing a similar situation to putting something like grease in your garbage disposal. The only answer? Calling in an experienced Kansas City plumber to clear it!
As with anything else that shouldn’t be put in the garbage disposal, your best bet is going to be tossing that pumpkin pulp into the trash can!
Watch the Garbage Disposal!
Particularly if you’ll be having some guests over for a Halloween party, you will want to carefully watch whatever anyone might be putting down the disposal! While we hinted at pumpkin pulp going down it in the previous section, also remember any candy wrappers, costume make-up or anything else used with costumes DOESN’T belong in the disposal. To avoid any potential plumbing problems, just toss all of this in the trash can!
Disposable Wipes for Makeup
Depending on how much effort you put into your Halloween costume this year, you may be using some makeup! Well, makeup (particularly grease-based options) can definitely do a number on your drains. While it may not cause an immediate clog, it is certainly capable of slowing them down considerably. All in all, if you or your children are using some makeup as part of their costume, just wipe it off with a disposable wipe as opposed to washing it down the drain. And once you’re finished with that wipe, throw it away!
If your pipes are making a lot of weird, loud noises, remember that you’re not in a haunted house! It’s not uncommon for the pipes to be making random sounds! In short, your water pipes are forced to deal with a lot of pressure, as well as temperature changes (which can be quite severe here in Kansas City). However, determining how to correct this issue can be easier said than done.
If you’re hearing more of a banging sound, then it’s possible some of your pipes aren’t secured sufficiently and move around when the water comes through. As a homeowner, you can try turning off the main shut-off valve, opening your faucets to drain everything out and then applying some clips for greater security. With this said, those scary noisy pipes could also be making whistling or vibrating sounds as well! The cause for these could be a bevy of different issues, including mineral build-up. In any case, your best bet would be to have an experienced Kansas City plumber check it out! The last thing you want is that small annoying sound turning into a true plumbing nightmare!
Ghost flushing is something that can actually happen at any time throughout the year, but it seems to be a little more spooky when it happens on Halloween night! You’re getting ready to call it a night, everything is dark and then the toilet mysteriously flushes. Before you come to the conclusion that you have a haunted bathroom with ghosts randomly flushing your toilets, read this.
Having a general understanding of the inner-workings of a toilet can actually go a long way in breaking down your ghost flushing. What’s occurring with a ghost flush is largely related to water slowing leaking out. When the water gets low enough, the float turns the fill valve on and the tank refills. Luckily, determining where the problem is at isn’t that difficult either!
First, you’ll want to consider the flapper. Flappers are generally inexpensive and thus, aren’t the most durable either. A simple tool for testing this is with food dye. Simply put some food dye in the tank. Then wait 20-30 minutes (while not flushing) and look at the water in the toilet bowl. If you see some colored water, then your flapper is leaking. Another quick troubleshooting technique would be removing the lid of the tank and watching everything as a flush occurs. If the chain is too short and preventing the flapper from completely filling the hole, you’ve found your problem. Lengthen it a little bit and you’ll be good to go!
Watch the Toilet As Well!
We already discussed keeping tabs on the garbage disposal and sink drain. Another item that wouldn’t be ideal to start off November could be dealing with a clogged toilet. Well, with it being Halloween, there’s going to be plenty of candy wrappers being tossed around. And as I stated earlier in this article, the only home for those is the trash can. With that being said, the toilet remains a landing spot that’s off limits!
Other Safety Hazards
With all of the foot traffic and kids running around, it’s important to have safety high on your list come Halloween time. Depending on how much you have going on at your house, it’s important to keep extension cords a safe distance from the sidewalks where the kids will be. Additionally, if you have any decorations that move, double check that there will be no electrical hazards if they were to have contact with a tree or bush. All in all, when it comes to electrical safety, just make sure there’s a safe path for the kids to make their way up to your door for Trick or Treating!
Our team at Stine-Nichols Plumbing wishes you and your family a Happy Halloween! We hope you have a safe and fun-filled day! Hopefully, you don’t have any nightmares arise from plumbing-related issues, but we understand if something slips in the garbage disposal over the course of all these fun times! If that does happen, just give our team of Kansas City plumbers a call at 816-348-3481 and we’ll be out there to get your plumbing system back in working order! We’re more than happy to help out with anything from a routine clogged drain to a larger project that requires a little more manpower!