7 Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means turkey, pie, friends, and family. But it also means that your plumbing system is going to be under some extra pressure. Your garbage disposal and kitchen sink will be in high demand, and those extra guests mean that your bathroom will be in use all day long.

If you want to lessen the strain on your plumbing system during Thanksgiving, check out these 7 helpful tips and tricks:

1. Prep Your Plumbing

With the holidays coming up, now is the time to make sure your plumbing and heating systems are running in tip-top shape. Don’t keep putting off that maintenance call or small repair. On a busy day like Thanksgiving, little problems can quickly turn into major plumbing disasters. 

Make sure to schedule a plumbing and HVAC check-up with your local licensed professional. This will prevent any potential emergencies and ensure that your sinks, toilets, showers, and water heaters are ready for your guests.

2. Reduce Kitchen Traffic

Believe it or not, many of the calls that we get from clients on or just after Thanksgiving have to do with foreign objects getting stuck in drains. Jewelry. Watches. Toys. Silverware. Broken glass. The list goes on.

One way to avoid these types of issues to reduce traffic in your kitchen. It’s normal for friends and family to want to help out in the kitchen or gather for conversations or drinks, but encouraging guests to use other spaces for socializing can help reduce distractions and accidents.

3. Properly Dispose of Grease

Cooking results in grease and grease can spell trouble for your plumbing. While it’s hot, grease seems like just another harmless liquid to pour down the drain. But 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 an extra mason jar or a plastic bag and toss 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 can mean we look for places to cut corners. Too often, that means using our garbage disposal as a catch-all for food waste.

Yet there are a number of food products that  can cause plumbing issues:

  • Celery (and other fibrous foods)
  • Potato peels
  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta or noodles
  • Fruit pits

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 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 stay over Thanksgiving weekend, try to be mindful who’s showering when and for how long. Few things tax water pressure and plumbing in your house, so if there are multiple showers 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.

Turkey Day Plumbing Emergency? Give Evolved Mechanical a Call

If you follow all of these tips, your plumbing system should make it through the holidays with no problems. But if an emergency does occur, call Evolved Mechanical. We’ll send a licensed technician out to your home as soon as possible, so you can get back to what Thanksgiving is really about–food and loved ones!