PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The holidays are here and that means more time in the kitchen and more guests in your home.

The influx of people can put a strain on your plumbing system.

Angie’s List report consumer editor Susan Koeppen shows you how to prevent a plumbing emergency during the holidays.

It’s time for hosting holiday parties and gift swaps again-but what do you do when you’re hosting and there is a plumbing disaster?

“When you have emergency plumbing service, you are going to be paying extra,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “So, my best advice to consumers is to do some preventative plumbing, because when you ignore it — that is when problems can crop up.”

Consumer website Angie’s List has tips for combating your most common plumbing issues, before things become disastrous.

The number one problem during the holidays is often your garbage disposal.

“You get a lot of people from out of town that aren’t used to the home so they’ll start putting things down the disposal that shouldn’t be going down there or that the homeowner would not normally put down there,” plumber Ryan Carpenter said.

Here are some tips for maintaining your garbage disposal:

  • Use the disposal properly
  • Don’t overload it
  • Avoid glass, rubber, bones and celery
  • Run it frequently

To keep your garbage disposal working its best, be sure to use your disposal properly. Run cold water before turning the disposal on and keep it running until after all of the food is gone.

Don’t overload your garbage disposal by cutting large pieces of food before disposing them. Avoid putting glass, rubber, bones or celery into your disposal, they will damage the blades.

And run your disposal frequently to keep it’s blades from rusting.

Other common problems often go unnoticed.

“The biggest mistake homeowners make when it comes to plumbing is ignoring it,” Hicks said. “So, if you hear strange sounds or you see leads, address them right away because if you don’t, it could lead to bigger problems.”

And when your plumbing isn’t leaking, it can get clogged.

Always be sure to have a plunger on hand to combat sink, tub and toilet clogs — and avoid putting products that belong in the trash down the drain.

And Angie’s number one tip: always know where your shut off valve is in case you do have an emergency and have to call for plumber.

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