6 Ways To Avoid A Plumbing Disaster This Winter

34463361_s (1)For most people, this is the time of year when spending time with friends and family is top of the to-do list.

Not only are there holidays to celebrate but the cold weather lends itself to staying indoors and spending quality time with loved ones.

Often, that quality time is spent sharing meals and enjoying each other’s company around the table. While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, it is also the part of the home that is the most vulnerable to plumbing disaster during the winter months.

Most specifically, a clogged garbage disposal is the number one reason that emergency plumbers are called to provide support to homeowners during the winter months.

Not only is there a lot more meal preparation and cleanup happening during the winter months but, there is also the fact that the foods that are prepared this time of the year are root vegetables and starchy foods with thick peels.

All of this leads to extra wear and tear on your garbage disposal and eventually, serious clogs. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to protect your plumbing system and garbage disposal from falling victim to a serious clog this winter:


  • Always run the water when using your garbage disposal. Running it dry could lead to clogs because the water helps to push all of the pulp and materials down the drain.
  • Keep in mind that your disposal, kitchen sink, and dishwasher all use the same drain. Be mindful of what you are putting into each of these sections of your plumbing system as the single drain could become overwhelmed easily
  • Make sure to always put vegetable peelings, meat bones and scraps, and oil or grease into the garbage can. Putting these items into the garbage disposal could quickly lead to a serious problem.
  • Pour a pot of boiling water into your garbage disposal drain at least one time per month as a preventative maintenance measure.
  • Use small pieces of citrus peels and ice cubes to keep your disposal clean and fresh
  • Consider starting a composting bucket for your home to get rid of the biodegradable items that are not able to go into your disposal drain

Your disposal is an important part of your winter weather comfort. Make sure you are using it properly and not putting anything at risk. Follow these simple tips for best practices.

Follow These Tips To Keep Your Plumbing System Working Great!

27544058 - plumbing sign with house, tap and spanner in frame

27544058 – plumbing sign with house, tap and spanner in frame

With the holiday season in full effect, many families are starting to spend more time indoors staying warm and comfortable.

This is the time of year when the outdoor activity starts to slow down in favor of things like eating meals together and having family game nights.

While this might not seem like something you should be concerned with, having a plumbing disaster definitely is. And, your plumbing system is at greater risk for a malfunction this time of year than any other time of year.

Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that your plumbing system doesn’t fall victim to a serious malfunction this winter and holiday season:

Protect your garbage disposal from serious clogs and damage by making sure that you put all food garbage into the garbage can and not down the garbage disposal. Your garbage disposal is a fragile piece of equipment that can easily become damaged and get clogged. You need to protect it during the high volume use time of winter by putting the food garbage in the trash can and not down the disposal drain

If your plumbing has been showing signs of malfunction or damage – make sure you talk with a professional plumber sooner than later. It is important not to risk your plumbing system by letting even small problems go unrepaired. The winter months and the cold weather is when you will really see small plumbing issues escalating to major problems.

During the winter months there really is no other alternative to cooking dinner than using the oven or stove. During the summer, you can throw some food on the BBQ grill and have an easy clean-up. But, during the winter, it is too cold to BBQ and you must bake or fry your food. This leave animal leftovers and you should never pour those down the kitchen sink drain.

Protect your home from serious plumbing disasters this winter by following these simple tips. Enjoy your holiday season and avoid a plumbing disruption!

Is Your Septic System Ready For The Fall?

15284170 - helpful tips and tricks symbol

The summer season is a time for family vacations and fun in the sun. However, with August almost over, it is that time of year when most households slow down with the summer activities and switch to school year activities.


This is also the time of year when the linens, clothing, and outdoor items for summer are washed, boxed up, and stored away until next year.


As you are going through your end of summer activities to get your home ready for fall, don’t forget to be mindful of your plumbing system.


While your plumbing system takes a fair amount of use during the summer months – the fall season is when the heavy rains hit and it is important to make sure that all parts of your system are working properly.


Like most complex systems – your plumbing pipes, fixtures, and fittings all have to work together to protect your home from flooding during the fall weather.


Here are just a few tips for you to follow during these end of summer weeks to keep your plumbing system in top condition:


  • Your septic system should be inspected once per year and the tank should be pumped at least once every three years – if not more frequently. During an inspection, your drain field pipes will be checked for tree roots.
  • It’s easy to forget about these areas of your home if you don’t go into them. So, make sure to carve out some time to purposely check the other bathrooms in your home. Guest bathrooms are not a place where you probably visit very often, unless you are preparing to have guests. But, leaks can happen in there the same as the other rooms in your home.  
  • When it is cold outside, having hot water inside is important part of staying healthy and combating the weather. Make sure that your water heater is well-maintained so that you are getting hot water during the cold weather season.


Keep your home protected from damage this fall by checking these end of summer plumbing checks off of your list. This is the perfect time to do it while the weather is transitioning from hot to cold.


4 Maintenance Tips For Your Kitchen Plumbing

39337284_sThe fall season is a favorite time of year for many people. Not only are there some terrific holidays to celebrate this time of year, but the food and seasonal ingredients are warm and comforting.

During the fall season many people move their cooking from outdoors on the grill to indoors in the oven, stove, and crockpot. While this is great for mealtime, it is hard on your kitchen during meal preparation and clean-up.

Here are some ways that you can keep your plumbing system protected from fall season cooking and cleaning:

  • Pour a boiling pot of water down your garbage disposal drain at least one time per week. First, plug the sink with a plug that has a chain on it. Then boil a large pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the sink, and then pull the drain. The heat and pressure of the water will “wash” the inside of the garbage disposal walls.
  • When you are peeling potatoes and other seasonal ingredients, put a plastic bag on the countertop and peel the foods into it. Then, gather up the side of the plastic bag and throw the peels into the garbage can. This prevents these peels from being put into the garbage disposal, where they will cause problems for the blade and could cause a serious clog.
  • After you have cooked meat, pour the grease, oil, and drippings into an empty tin can. Then, throw the entire can into the garbage can. If you pour the grease into the kitchen drain, it will solidify in the drain when it cools and begin collecting anything that comes down the drain behind it. This will soon lead to a serious clog in your kitchen drain.
  • When you are loading the dishwasher, make sure to thoroughly rinse the dishes and get all of the food particles from them. Putting large amounts of food into the dishwasher can cause the filter to clog, leading to the dishwasher filling with dirty water.

Mealtime during the fall is comforting and warming after a cold day out of your home. But, cleanup and preparation need some thoughtful processes to make sure that your kitchen plumbing is protected. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your kitchen working great!


Emergency Plumbing Tips

Residential Emergency Plumbing Tips

Broken PipeUnfortunately, the emergency part in a plumbing emergency is usually the flow of water. When a pipe, fixture, or appliance begins to leak the damage it can do to your home is extensive.

Your residential plumbing system is designed to manage a constant flow of water from the main water supply. This could be a well on your property or, the closest municipal water supply. In both cases, there is a constant flow of water in your pipes so that, when you turn on the shower or faucet, there is always water running out until you turn the fixture off.

Even in the case of running out of hot water, there is still cold water that will continue to flow until the fixture is turned off. Luckily, plumbers and plumbing manufacturers know this and so most fixtures are equipped with individual shut off valves. Also, your main water supply can be shut off so that water stops flowing to all of the fixtures in your home. Whether your plumbing emergency is confined to just one fixture in your home or, you have a water heater that has burst and is steadily filling your home with water, you have to know how to turn the water off to mitigate damages.

Here are some tips for how to turn the water off to your individual plumbing fixtures, as well as to the main water supply.

To shut the water off to a faucet, toilet, or other plumbing fixture:

  • Locate the plumbing that supports your affected fixture. This is typically housed in a cabinet under a sink, or behind the toilet bowl where it attaches to the wall.
  • Inspect the plumbing where it goes into the wall. This is typically where you will find a stop valve or, shut off handle. If you are turning off the water to the sink, you will need to locate both the cold water and hot water valves.
  • Turn the valve(s) clockwise to turn off the water. If you can’t do this by hand, then get a pair of gloves or a wrench.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your water heater, simply turn off the cold water valve that is located on top of the water heater.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your washing machine, simply turn off the valve that is behind the machine where the hose attaches.

To shut the water off to your entire house:

  • Locate the concrete box that is near the street and just below ground level. This typically has a green lid covering it.
  • Locate the valve handle and turn it clockwise until it is closed tight
  • If needed, use a wrench or a pair of gloves to grip the valve and get it to turn.
  • Make sure to turn the water back on after your plumbing emergency has been cleared.
  • Always keep this valve either completely opened or completely closed, make sure to turn it until it stops in either direction you are turning it.

Plumbing emergencies are stressful and can cause a significant amount of damage outside of the broken plumbing. Follow these steps to stop the flow of water and reduce the amount of damage you have to repair after the emergency has passed. Contact McCuen PHC, we will have someone to your home ASAP to help you with your plumbing emergency.

How should I handle a plumbing emergency?

How to handle a plumbing emergency


Emergency PlumbingPlumbing emergencies can be a nightmare and have to be handled immediately to minimize damage. A lot of damage can occur from a plumbing emergency so it has to be handled correctly. Follow the steps below to handle any plumbing emergency.

If you have an overflowing toilet, a pipe that has burst or a malfunctioning Fawcett, this constitutes a plumbing emergency and must be handled immediately. The first thing that you have to do is shut off the water. This is especially true if you have a pipe that has burst. If you don’t know much about plumbing and don’t know which water valve to shut off, your best bet is to shut the main water valve off. The main water valve can be found in the basement or outside of the home. A good precaution maneuver to do is to label the pipes and their corresponding valves. That way, if a plumbing emergency occurs, you will know which valve to shut off.

The next thing that you have to do is contain the damage to one area. This can be done by preventing the water that has pooled onto the floor from going elsewhere. You can do this by piling towels or blankets around the pool of water to keep it in that spot. You should also scoop up the water or direct it towards the drains.

Everything that is portable or has the ability to be moved should be moved out of the water. This will protect each item from further damage as it is outside of the water. You can dry each item off with a towel and allow it to air dry. The next thing to do of course is to call a plumber to fix the broken pipe, overflowing toilet or the Fawcett.

Call John McCuen Plumbing & Heating & Air today at (610) 325-9395 if you’re having a plumbing emergency in Broomall. We have immediate solutions for your situation!