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Thanks Giving Plumbing Tips for Guests and Drains!

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Thanksgiving creates more clogged drains than any other day of the year!



1. Make Sure Your Home Is Ready


Unless a plumbing issue is urgent, most homeowners tend to put off calling a professional and forget about these issues until busy weekends like Thanksgiving, where they can develop into something serious and ruin a family gathering.


If possible, have a preventative maintenance service scheduled and have any repairs done to your sinks, toilet, shower, and water heater that you may have been putting off.


2.Use a Sink Strainer


The best way to prevent clogging your drain is by using a sink strainer to prevent any food from going down it. This will keep the water running while making sure that no leftovers will pass through it. The waste gathered in the strainer can be thrown in the trash once you’re done washing the dishes. With a little bit of caution plumbing problems can be easily avoided.


3. Properly Dispose of Grease


Cooking results in grease and grease can spell trouble for your plumbing. While it’s hot, grease seems like another harmless liquid to pour down the drain. However, as grease cools it solidifies and can cause blockages in your pipes!


So, make sure you dispose of grease the proper way following your Thanksgiving cooking: pour it into a mason jar and put it in the garbage when you're done.


4. Don't Treat Your Garbage Disposal like a Garbage Bag!


Preparing a large meal means juggling a bunch of different responsibilities in the kitchen and that often means we look for places to cut corners. Too often, that means using our garbage disposal as a catch-all for food waste.


Other problematic foods include:

  • Celery (and other fibrous foods)

  • Potato and carrot peels

  • Eggshells

  • Bones

  • Coffee grounds

  • Pasta or noodles

  • Fruit pits


Really your garbage disposal is made for cleaning your plate off AFTER you have scraped the gross debris into the trash.


5. Wait to Use Your Dishwasher


Your dishwasher and garbage disposal share the same drain, so it's important to keep this in mind before running your next load of Thanksgiving dishes and silverware. Running your garbage disposal while your dishwasher is running can mean food waste can end up in your wash cycle.

It's also important to realize that if you are experiencing a garbage disposal issue – like a blockage – it's important not to run your dishwasher. Doing so can create flooding.


6. Keep Wet Wipes Out of the Toilet


If you provide wet wipes for your guests in the bathroom, make sure that they know that they should be thrown away – not flushed. Toilet paper is specifically designed to dissolve in water so that it is unlikely to cause a clog. Other items ... are not.


A few other things that also shouldn't be flushed:

  • Cotton balls

  • Q-tips

  • Napkins or facial tissue (Kleenex)

  • Feminine products

  • Paper towels

  • Facial cleansing/makeup remover wipes


7. Cut Down on Shower Time


If you're having guests that stay over Thanksgiving weekend, try to be mindful of who is showering when and for how long. Few things tax water pressure and plumbing in your house, so if multiple showers are occurring at once – or showers occurring while you’re trying to do other water-dependent tasks like dishwashing – it could mean a shortage of hot water.


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