Top 5 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Disasters During Thanksgiving

2013 Nov 08
Posted in: Plumbing

Say goodbye to your Black Friday money. Most homeowners have a severe plumbing problem during Thanksgiving due to all the extra food-related waste going down the kitchen sink.

And since plumbers usually charge extra for a holiday call, you’re looking at repair costs of $100 to $600 to unclog a kitchen sink, toilet drain, or fix a sink’s garbage disposal unit.

Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on Black Friday goodies? Yes? Then follow these top 5 tips to avoid plumbing problems during Thanksgiving.

1) Don’t treat your garbage disposal unit like Superman

Superman can take on everything at once (except kryptonite), but your garbage disposal can’t.  So don’t just shove everything down your garbage disposal at once and then turn it on. That’s a an expensive breakdown waiting to happen.

Gradually feed your garbage disposal food so it can easily “digest” everything. This may take more time, but it will prevent needing to call a plumber.

2) Don’t feed your garbage disposal the wrong foods

Some foods just don’t belong down your kitchen drain.

These include:

  • Pastas (these will expand in water and clog your drains)
  • Celery, potatoes, carrots, corn husks, and other string-fibrous vegetables (the strings can wrap around the garbage disposal blades
  • Bones (even small chicken wing bones will ding or break your garbage disposal blades)
  • Egg shells (when several are mashed up together can clog your drain)

When in doubt if something should go down the drain, throw it in the trashcan.

3) Give grease the boot to the trashcan—not the sink

After cooking meats, you’ll be tempted to send all the grease and oil in the pan to the sink.

Stop.

Grease, oils and fats will harden in your drain and clog it.  Instead, wipe down the cooking pan with a paper towel. Throw the paper towel away and then wash the pan off.

If you have an excess of grease that can’t be wiped up you and need to pour it somewhere, absolutely do not pour it down the drain.

Instead, grab a glass or ceramic bowl, lay aluminum foil across the bottom of it and pour the extra grease over the foil in the bowl. Set aside to harden. Once the grease has congealed, wrap up the foil around the grease and throw the grease in your trash can.

4) Keep the water running as you use your garbage disposal

Like drinking water helps you digest your food, running your sink’s faucet will help break up the food in the drain as you use your garbage disposal unit. Keep the water running running as you take our advice from the first tip.

5) Use a simple sign to keep your toilet from clogging

After all this talk about your kitchen, we’d be shortchanging you if we didn’t discuss bathroom plumbing shenanigans.

If you’re having guests stay overnight, there may be someone who throws unflushable items in the toilet. These will easily clog your toilets because they don’t  dissolve in water.

These unflushable items include:

  • Facial cleansing pads
  • Cleaning wipes
  • “Flushable” wipes (even though they say they are, they aren’t always flushable)
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Cotton balls

Talking to holiday guests directly about this may be awkward. So we suggest just putting an easy-to-see sign in your bathroom that discourages throwing those items in the toilet.

Prepare for Murphy's Law

We understand that, as much as you try to avoid plumbing problem this Thanksgiving, one can slip through.

It’s Murphy's law at it’s finest: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Prepare for Murphey’s Law and have a plumber you can trust on call in case of an emergency.

If you run across a plumbing problem this Thanksgiving, give us a call at 602-257-9000 or contact us online. George Brazil can handle any drain clog at any time and can fix garbage disposal units.

George Brazil has been keeping Phoenix-area homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient since 1955. Contact us online for more information about any of our services.
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