Why Drains are Slower After the Holidays

I spent the entire day yesterday trying to put the house back together from the holidays. All of the kids were home, plus we had relatives visiting from out of town, which made for a full house. So, after the whirling dervish of gifts, guests, food, and parties, the house felt more than a little beat up! But beyond all of the post-holiday wear and tear to floors, walls, carpets, and furniture, the house has been under a lot of internal stress as well.

Probably many of you know what I mean: after the holidays, toilets, sinks, and showers might be draining slower, or the main drain might be gurgling. If you had guests for the holidays and are wondering why some of your drains are slow or have started backing up, according to Jesse Wheeler, drains manager at Any Hour Services, this is a common by-product of holiday houseguests.

plumbing slower after holiday

Jesse can tell you that, in his 10+ years of experience, whether it’s the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, holidays are the times of the year when homeowners experience the most trouble with their drains. So I asked him why that is and what we can do to prevent drain issues from occurring.

First, he says that the reason this happens is because new objects are being introduced to your plumbing system and your system is experiencing higher volume usage than usual. Think of it this way: why did Aunt Edna’s fruitcake give you indigestion? It’s because you only have it once a year and it shocked your system. And why do you feel bloated and backed up after eating four helpings of Christmas dinner? It’s because you ate four times as much as you usually do and your digestive system wasn’t equipped to handle the onslaught. Your plumbing and sewer system actually work exactly the same way.

Second, Jesse explains the issue simply: the things we use most often wear out the fastest. This is as true with your favorite slippers you wear around the house every day as it is with your home’s plumbing system: the toilets, sinks, and other drains that you use most often will wear out the fastest. Therefore, your most commonly-used lines are the ones that most commonly back up. Simply, holidays are the times of the year when we experience the most trouble with our drains because usage increases and parts wear out faster.

Obviously preparing for this ahead of time is ideal and don’t worry, we’ll remind you in November so you can be ready for next holiday, BUT what can you do right now -- great question. Here are some of the suggestions Jesse had if you find yourself with slow drains this time of year.

Let me start with what we recommend you don’t do. Chemical drain cleaners are not the best choice when trying to clear a blocked or slow drain. There are better things to try. Most plumbers will tell you not to use these products.


Now, If a toilet or sink is completely blocked you can try a plunger or hand auger. For more stubborn clogs you may need to enlist the help of someone that has a mechanical auger. Many people call a company that specializes in clearing blocked drains.


A lot of times this can be grease, grime, soap scum, hair, toothpaste, and anything else that can cling to the sidewalls of your drains and slow the flow of water. You can try running hot soapy water down the drain to try and loosen and remove some of the build-ups.

A chemical reaction you can try is vinegar and baking soda. It is a mild chemical reaction that can sometimes loosen the blockage and restore flow. If you notice a small improvement after trying this, you may want to do it a couple more times to see if this gets the water flowing the way you want.

You can try an organic drain treatment like bio-clean or bio-one, treat the drains overnight and see if that improves the drains. These treatments are great for slow drains because of the are made of safe, natural bacteria that feed on the gunk in your pipes that cause them to drain slow.

If you are feeling adventurous you can disassemble the drain under the sink, clean with a bottle cleaner and then reassemble. This is going to give you the fastest, most thorough cleaning of the pipes under your sink but keep this in mind if you find a lot of build-up there, chances are the pipes behind the wall have build-up in them as well and you won’t be able to reach them to clean them the same way.

If you like the thoroughness of cleaning your drains, there is a technology that can clean the pipes behind the walls and restore them to like-new condition. This process is called hydro jetting. High-pressure jets of water scour the insides of your drains and removes all the build-up. Most homeowners don’t have one of these machines in the garage so you’ll probably have to contact a company that offers drain services like this. 


Slow and blocked drains can be a pain and I hope you are not experiencing any of these frustrations. If you are and you need a little professional help clearing a drain or jetting a line, Any Hour Services is here to help.


Author: Amber Smith-Johnson
Copyright © 2020 by Any Hour Services


Dec 30th 2019

All Posts