Thanksgiving will soon be here, and for many, the holiday conjures up visions of feasts and joyous family time. But plumbers see quite a different scenario: They think of clogged drains and backed-up sewers.
Statistics show that plumbing problems spike by as much as 50% the day after Thanksgiving. Roto-Rooter reports that it’s the company’s single busiest day of the year for residential problems.
“Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal,” notes the company’s website. Houses full of guests who require additional clothes washing, showers and toilet flushes also put a strain on household plumbing.
“Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system. “
In short, it’s wise to take precautions to avoid the stress that comes from plumbing problems. Here are a few tips:
Root out your line before the holiday:
If you know your drain can be a problem, be proactive. Clear the pipes before they are forced to endure the extra load of food waste that comes with the holiday.
Don’t pour oil and grease down the drain:
They can accumulate, clogging the pipes. Instead, wipe off grease from pots and plates with a paper towel and throw the towel in the trash.
Always run cold water when using the garbage disposal:
This will ensure that any grease will flush through the pipes, rather then stick to their sides, as it can with hot water.
Remember that, contrary to its name, it’s not a “dispose-all”:
Certain foods can be problematic in a garbage disposal. Avoid putting stringy, fibrous food such as celery and artichokes, into the disposal; they are likely to catch on each other and collect in the pipe. Other Items to avoid include: turkey bones, eggshells, coffee grounds, rice, lettuce and cheese.
Better yet, don’t put food down the drain at all.
Many plumbers feel that any food discarded in garbage disposals simply causes problems down the road. Avoid the issue altogether by scraping leftover food from plates into a trashcan.
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