During the holidays, there are always things you can’t control. At Ryan, we make sure comfort and safety are all wrapped up so you can focus on what’s important. Here are a few plumbing, heating, and fire protection tips to get you through the holidays without a hitch.


Clogged kitchen drains

  • Don’t even think about putting fats, oils, and grease down your kitchen sink drain. They will harden in the pipes, and you’ll wind up dealing with a clogged drain, rather than enjoying quality time with your family. Put the liquid in a container and toss it in the garbage instead.
  • A kitchen sink strainer will also help prevent leftover food scraps from slipping down your drain. They are inexpensive and can be purchased online or found in department stores.

Garbage disposal disaster

  • Beware of putting holiday food waste down the garbage disposal. The items below should go in the garbage (G) or compost (C) if you have a kitchen compost routine. These foods can damage your garbage disposal and wreak havoc on your pipes.
    • Pasta, rice, bread and all grain products (G)
    • Bones and fat (G)
    • Grease and cooking oils (G)
    • Coffee grounds and eggshells (C)
    • Potato peels, fruit rinds, and corn husks along with all long, stringy, and fibrous foods (C)
  • If your garbage disposal and dishwasher share the same drain, hold off on using your dishwasher until after you’ve cleaned up the kitchen. The waste from the garbage disposal could wind up in your dishwasher if you use them both at the same time. This waste could wind up causing a clogged drain followed by water backup and a flooded kitchen resulting in a holiday disaster.

Clogged toilets

  • Make sure you have a garbage can in your bathroom. People might throw things down the toilet if there isn’t somewhere to throw their trash.
  • Arm your toilet with a plunger. Most people will take care of a clogged toilet on their own if there’s a plunger handy. If not, their embarrassment might prevent them from speaking up about the problem and you might wind up dealing with a much larger mess after someone else uses the throne.
  • Here’s a list of common items that clog toilets:
    • Paper towels
    • Cotton swabs and balls
    • Cleaning wipes
    • Facial pads
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Cigarette butts


Holiday cooking and entertaining

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and test them before you plan to have friends and family over for the holidays.
  • Avoid burning the turkey and/or a kitchen fire by staying alert and focused while you are cooking. Don’t leave your stove unattended.

Decorate your home wisely


Keep your home comfortable

  • Cooking and entertaining guests can create a warmer environment in your home than usual. Turning your thermostat down 3 to 5 degrees will help keep your household at a comfortable temperature. Cooking as much as you can in advance will also help.
  • Changing your furnace filter will help keep clean air flowing throughout your home.
  • If you have a ceiling fan, turning it on in reverse or clockwise will help circulate the heat in your home by pushing the warm air back down.
  • A whole house humidifier will reduce dryness and make you feel warmer resulting in a more comfortable home.
  • Festive decorations that cover your thermostat and its sensors will prevent it from functioning properly.

A pre-holiday inspection of your home plumbing and heating elements can help you avoid serious problems. Call (585)232-5555 to schedule an appointment and ask about our VIP Priority Service Club.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!