Avoid a Thanksgiving Day Plumbing Disaster

The rumors are true: the day after thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers. At Terry’s Plumbing, we spend the day after Thanksgiving unclogging drains in households all across Pittsburgh.

Why Do So Many Plumbing Problems Occur at Thanksgiving?

  • Too many people using the facilities. Often homeowners don’t realize their drains are slow until extra people start using the bathrooms, showers and sinks.
  • House guests don’t realize there’s no garbage disposal. Sometimes house guests trying to help with cleanup make problems by putting food down the drain without realizing there’s no garbage disposal.
  • People overload the garbage disposal with forbidden foods. Putting the wrong thing in your garbage disposal can lead to clogs.

What You Can Do to Avoid a Thanksgiving Plumbing Disaster

Don’t become a statistic. Avoid a Thanksgiving day plumbing disaster by making smart plumbing decisions at the holidays.

  • Unclog drains before guests arrive. Check your drains in the days before your guests arrive. Pay close attention to “problem drains” that always seem to be clogged. Watch for standing water and listen for strange gurgling noises. If you see evidence that a drain is clogged, unclog the drain with a plumber’s auger.
  • Make bathroom garbage cans visible to house guests. Don’t hide your bathroom garbage can under the sink. Sometimes guests flush things like cotton balls and feminine products down the toilet because they can’t find the garbage. As we’ve discussed in the past, flushing foreign objects down the toilet can cause clogs and sewer backups. Putting the garbage can somewhere obvious makes it easier to throw trash away rather than flush it down the drain.
  • Clean and prep your garbage disposal for the big day. Your garbage disposal (if you have one) will play a starring role in your Thanksgiving day cleanup effort, so it needs to be ready. Fill the garbage disposal with ice and coarse salt, then turn on the water and run the disposal. The ice and salt will help scrub away stuck-on foods while sharpening the blades at the same time. Next, turn on the hot water and pour vinegar into the unit. Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that will help wash away old food inside. Turn on the unit and let it drain. Finally, pour baking soda into the garbage disposal and leave it to sit overnight. In the morning, pour boiling water into the garbage disposal and turn it on. This will help clean the disposal and rid the appliance of odors.
  • Know what can and can’t go down your garbage disposal. Fat and grease, stringy meats and potato peels should not be put down the garbage disposal after your Thanksgiving day feast. Consider putting up a sign near your garbage disposal to remind your house guests about appropriate garbage disposal use.
  • Do your laundry before guests arrive. Doing extra loads of laundry when guests come to your home can put strain on your plumbing system. To avoid problems, do your laundry before guests get to your house, so that you can focus on their laundry only when they’re in your house.

Know Who To Call

At Terry’s Plumbing, we’re here for you when plumbing problems occur. We answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. If you run into trouble on Thanksgiving, give us a call at (412) 364-9114. We can help.