Clogged pipes are frustrating even at the best of times, and they can be downright exhausting to encounter in the middle of the holidays­­­. Nobody wants to deal with a clogged drainpipe while juggling a home full of visiting family members and a fridge full of leftovers. Read on for some Thanksgiving tips on how to keep plumbing problems out of the picture.

What’s Stuffing Your Pipes?

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers, and for good reason. When homeowners begin to clean the kitchen after gobbling down their Thanksgiving feasts, many are unaware that any hot grease, oil, and fat poured down the sink will eventually congeal after cooling. Not only can this greasy residue stop up your kitchen pipes, but other improper food waste disposal methods can make the problem worse; leftover bones, poultry skins, and vegetable rinds are difficult to break down and can cause garbage disposal problems if they’re dumped in the sink rather than the trash can.

Another factor that can contribute to drain blockage over the holidays is increased usage. Since Thanksgiving dinners are often family affairs, many households are crowded with visiting relatives. Pipes that are being used more frequently by more family members are more likely to become clogged with hair, hygiene products, and the like.

How to Keep Your Pipes Clog-Free

  • Dispose of fats, oils, and grease either by consolidating them in a container or by wiping them up with paper towels. Then, throw the paper towels away or empty the container into the trash; do not pour the residue down the sink.

  • potato peels in kitchen sink

    Avoid dumping stringy food waste, like potato or apple skins, down the garbage disposal because it’s difficult to break down and can cause pipe and garbage disposal issues. Throw it in the trash can instead.

  • Ask houseguests to wait 10 to 15 minutes between showers to give the drains time to clear.

  • Don’t flush hygiene products such as cotton balls, facial pads, baby wipes, or Q-tips down the toilet, and make sure your guests refrain from doing so as well.

  • Instead of waiting until the garbage disposal is full to turn it on, let it run for a minute before throwing food away. Remember to use enough water when running the disposal.

  • It’s a good idea to get in touch with a qualified plumbing contractor and take care of any plumbing issues before the holidays. That way, you can focus on keeping your pipes clear, and you can be sure that you won’t have to deal with a surprise plumbing problem while you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

By getting rid of food properly and staying mindful of how often your pipes are being used, you can keep your plumbing system from getting too full this Thanksgiving.

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Additional Sources: The Huffington Post; Thomson Reuters.