Thanksgiving Plumbing Tips

Is everyone getting ready for Thanksgiving? At R.V. Carey’s, we certainly are! The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers across the country, with clogged sinks and toilets and overworked water heaters being the most common culprits. And while holiday guests, meal preparation, and meal cleanup are unavoidable, there are things you can do to reduce the load on your plumbing system!

You can reduce the risk of a plumbing emergency this Thanksgiving by…

Being careful with fats and oils – grease, fats, and oils solidify when they move down the drain, and since they don’t mix with water, they can cling to the pipe walls and cause blockages. Instead of dumping grease into the sink, wipe it out of your pots with a paper towel and throw it in the trash.

Be careful with what you put down the drain – starchy, stringy, and fibrous food can do a number of your garbage disposal—the strands of celery can wrap around and choke the disposal, and things like poultry skins, fruit and potato peels cannot be sufficiently ground up.

Things you SHOULD NOT put down the garbage disposal include:

  • Potato skins
  • Large animal bones
  • Banana peels
  • Onion skins
  • Stringy vegetables like asparagus and celery
  • Glass, plastic, metal, or paper
  • Anything combustible
  • Cigarette butts
  • Grease, fats, or oils
  • Used coffee filters

Things you SHOULD put down the garbage disposal include:

  • Vegetable ends
  • Soft food matter
  • Certain hard materials, including chicken and fish bones and eggshells, small fruit pits, etc.
  • Citrus peels (for freshness)
  • Ice cubes (to clean the garbage disposal out every now and then)
  • A little dish washing soap (helps freshen the smell)

Run the disposal before you put food into it – the garbage disposal is much more likely to clog up if the sink is full before you turn it on. Run it as you’re scraping plates, and make sure you run cold water at the same time.

Time your showers – if you’re having family staying at your house, try to have people wait at least 10 minutes in between showers. This will let slow drains clear and will ensure the water has some time to reheat.

Be careful with what you flush – just like you should watch what you put down the sink, it’s important to not put the wrong things down the toilet. Never flush things like cotton balls, swabs, hair, or facial scrub pads down the toilet. They won’t dissolve and can cause clogs, either in the toilet or in the sewer main.

Get your plumbing checked out early – the best defense is a good offense, so get your plumbing system checked out early! Minor plumbing problems can become major issues on days like Thanksgiving when your plumbing system is overworked, and making sure everything is in working order can save you major headaches.

At R.V. Carey’s, we want to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. And remember: if you need emergency plumbing service on Friday morning in Maryland, Virginia, or DC, call us—we’ll be ready!