One of our busiest days of the year is Thanksgiving. Clogged drains are a common reason for us to be called to serve our community on Turkey Day. We think this is less than ideal. Don’t get us wrong, we’re happy to help anytime, even on holidays. That’s part of how we’ve earned our reputation as top rated local plumbers. A reputation we’re thankful for–grateful for you, our customers, for giving us such top ratings. However, we also understand, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that the kitchen sink or the shower drain is clogged while they’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner with lots of friends and family over. We can do all do better than that.
To help you avoid expensive, inconvenient, and embarrassing problems while you’re hosting friends and family for Thanksgiving, we’ve put together a list of Thanksgiving plumbing tips and advice to help you prevent any plumbing emergencies, such as sewer and drains backing up. Here are seven plumbing tips to help you prevent clogs and plumbing emergencies:
1) Make Sure Your is Home Ready
Take care of plumbing problems before holidays. If your bathroom sinks drain slowly, or you’ve got a dripping kitchen faucet, don’t wait until Turkey Day to handle them. Consider having a top rated local plumber inspect and maintain your plumbing and sewer lines for problems before guests arrive. Many customers prefer to have drain cleaning maintenance done yearly, before holidays, to get ahead of and prevent clogs.
2) Keep the Kitchen Clear
It might surprise some to learn, we often get service calls around holidays that are caused by problem causing objects getting stuck in drains. Things like toys, silverware, broken, glass, even jewelry, watches, and rings! While it’s common, and kind, for friends and family to offer to help with kitchen duties, or to entertain hosts while they work in the kitchen, encouraging guests to connect with one another in spaces outside of the kitchen and help reduce accidents, and distractions!
3) Dispose of Grease and Food Properly
Never put leftovers, large quantities of food waste, or grease down your plumbing and drain systems! We can’t seem to suggest this often enough. It’s such a common problem.
We understand it might seem easy to toss leftovers and food waste down the drain, but this is a common cause of clogs. Throw leftovers in the garbage, or consider a compost pile. Potato peels, fruit pits, turkey skin and bones, none of these things belong in the sewer line! As well, before cleaning cookware filled with turkey drippings, gravy, or cooking oil, wipe off the excess with a paper towel and throw it away. Cooking oil can be poured into a metal can, where it can cool, solidify, and get tossed into the trash.
4) Run the Garbage Disposal Sooner
It might seem odd, but strategic use of the garbage disposal and prevent many problems. Cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner can put a lot of demand on your sewer line, and it’s easy not to notice when the garbage disposal is getting full. Rather than wait for food to fill up, turn on the garbage disposal before adding food and waste to the system. Run water before you add food, and keep the water running for a few seconds after, too. Allow the drain to finish before adding more waste to the system.
5) Run the Dishwasher Later
To keep kitchen sink drains flowing, use the garbage disposal sooner, and wait before running the dishwasher. Dishwashers and garbage disposals share the same drain line, so one of them should take priority over the other. We recommend handling garbage disposal tasks before running the dishwasher, because a full and active dishwasher system and cause backing up in the dishwasher. As well, if something happens to the drain while using the garbage disposal, the last thing you’ll want on top of a clogged kitchen sink is a running dishwasher! No one wants to deal with a flood of food waste filled water on their kitchen floor. The dishwasher can wait until the garbage disposal is done being used.
6) Wait Between Showers
If you’re hosting guests overnight for holidays, it can be helpful to spread out shower drain time. Back to back showers, or showers happening simultaneously can place increased demand on the drain and sewer systems than normal. Ask guests to wait about 10 minutes between showers, and this will allow shower drain systems to clear. As well, avoid running high water demand appliances, such as dishwashers, while people are taking showers. This will prevent overall congestion in your sewer lines.
7) Use Toilet Paper, Not Wet Wipes!
More people in your home, especially sharing holiday meals, means your bathrooms will have more use than usual. Clogs are common, and often they’re related to inappropriate items being flushed down toilets. This includes wet wipes, even wet wipes that say on the label they’re safe for plumbing systems. As top rated local plumbers, we can’t stress this enough: use toilet paper, never wet wipes. Toilet paper is specifically designed to dissolve in sewer lines, wet wipes are not. Also, the following items should never be flushed down the toilet:
- Cotton balls
- Napkins or facial tissue (Kleenex)
- Feminine products
- Paper towels
- Facial cleansing/makeup remover wipes
Make sure to have a trash bin in your bathroom. Let your guests know to use it, as well.
We hope this list of Thanksgiving tips for your plumbing has been helpful, and we hope you have a problem free holiday! All the same, if you do have a plumbing emergency, we’ll be happy to help, anytime.