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Pat Sullivan: Plumbing preparations for holiday guests

Company is coming soon enough, so Pat helps you make sure the bathroom is ready.

INDIANAPOLIS — Guests will be bringing extra traffic to your house and extra stress on your plumbing before you know it.

To make sure your pipes and drains are ready to receive, Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden shared some easy and economical preparations you can do now to save you from stopping down from enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas dinner because your uncle stopped up something else.

Several drain-clearing products that come in powder or liquid can help dissolve built-up organic matter in your sink drains that slow flow and begin to smell. You may need more frequent applications to start, but once a month is a good maintenance interval after that.

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Physical tools like a plunger and toilet auger will come in handy if your stool gets clogged above the sewer line. Sullivan recommends a plunger molded with a flange left in the bathroom so your guests can take care of things discretely and won't have to come out in front of everybody to ask for the plunger.

An auger consists of a short hollow pole with a hand crank that sends a coiled metal snake down the drain to physically push or pull an obstruction until it is no longer clogging your pipe. "They're not very expensive," Sullivan said, "and they're designed to fit right in the toilet and get up and over the trap because most clogs are right there in the trap."

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For sinks, augers are too big and cumbersome, so Pat recommends a "hair snake" to clear debris that accumulates in your drain. They sell for a few dollars and fish out hair and other gunk that tends to build up between the sink drain and pipe trap under your sink.

Now is also the time of year to start treating underground roots in your sewer line with copper sulfate. Sullivan recommends a few tablespoons weekly rinsed down a drain or flushed before bedtime so it sits in your pipes and works while your sleep.

For deep cleaning hard water rings or rust stains from porcelain, Sullivan said a pumice stone can take care of that buildup.

Watch Pat's full segment from 13Sunrise in the video player.

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