How to Avoid Thanksgiving Day Plumbing Problems

When you think of the Friday after Thanksgiving, most people think of fun Black Friday bargains. However, each year, the Friday after Thanksgiving turns black and bleak for many due to not-so-fun plumbing emergencies. Nationwide, plumbers get as many as 50 percent more calls over the long weekend following Thanksgiving, compared with any other four-day period throughout the year.

Most of the additional calls are for clogged drains attached to garbage disposals or toilets. The good news is, many of these problems are preventable. Here are a few tips to help avoid turkey day plumbing problems:

    1. Don’t pour fats or cooking oils down drains. Be sure to use paper towels to wipe excess grease and oils from pots and pans before washing them, then throw away the paper towels.
    1. Run several ice cubes through your garbage disposal. Do this before the big feast to sharpen the blades.
    1. Don’t stuff your disposal. Use a steady flow of smaller amounts while running the water to help drain it away.
    1. Avoid putting poultry skin, rice, pasta, celery, potato peels, fruit, or eggshells in your garbage disposal. Most disposers cannot sufficiently grind these things.
    1. Use cold water when grinding food waste. Hot water will cause grease to move further into the pipe, where it can solidify after cooling.
    1. Be sure you run cold water for 15 seconds after the disposal work is finished to carry the waste out of the pipes.
    1. Wait 10 minutes between showers so drains have time to work.
  1. If small items drop in toilets, don’t flush them down. Retrieve them! Even small items can catch in pipes, then lead to bigger clogs with future flushes.

In many cases, plumbing problems were brewing long before the holidays. So if you have a slow drain, a toilet that won’t flush completely, or other signs of plumbing issues right now, call us so we can help prevent worse plumbing problems that could put a damper on your holiday.

Remember, if you have an Orange County plumbing emergency, you can contact Barker & Sons, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! And may your turkey be full and stuffed – not your pipes!