Hosting Thanksgiving? Are your drains ready? Well, we’ve got an article that’s literally STUFFED with Thanksgiving Tips to help ensure your household plumbing, on which you heavily rely, continues to flow smoothly during the holiday season.
Thanksgiving marks the change to the colder time of year, and with the holidays and cold weather, comes households filled with friends and family. During this time of year, the combination of cold weather and the increase in use that your plumbing system will see, means a greater likelihood of a plumbing emergency. Plumbing emergencies tend to happen when you least expect, and they’re always a hassle. But, if you follow the simple advice in this article, you can go a long way towards protecting your plumbing systems, and preventing a stressful emergency plumbing situation.
Kitchen Home Plumbing Thanksgiving Tips
The Kitchen is typically ground zero for thanksgiving-induced plumbing emergencies. 9 times out of 10, a Thanksgiving plumbing emergency is caused by a guest. Here, the thanksgiving tips really go a long way.
- NEVER pour grease, fats, or oil into the kitchen sink drain as these will clog your pipes when they cool and become solidified. Deposit fats in an old can or jar and then throw them away!
- Take it easy on your water pressure! Consider washing dishes or using the dishwasher during the evening, when other’s have finished showering, so you save more water for house guests and maintain better water pressure.
- Garbage Disposals don’t handle potatoes, bones, turkey skin, or onion peels very well. If you can, avoid putting these in the disposal.
- Speaking of which, the garbage disposal isn’t meant for more than half of the things that wind up down there. Hard, stringy, or fibrous materials are never good. Your typical garbage disposal was originally designed for lingering, light residue waste when rinsing the dishes, so things like banana peels, poultry skins, asparagus, lettuce have to be disposed of in small doses with lots of COLD water.
- Do not place food into the kitchen drain that will expand, such as rice, as this will only lead to stoppage and clogs.
Bathroom Home Plumbing Thanksgiving Tips
We don’t need to go into too much detail here, but it’ll suffice to say that, just like the kitchen, your bathrooms will see increased use over Thanksgiving, thanks to your guests. But, don’t worry, as long as you establish a few key guidelines with your guests, you’ll easily be able to avoid a thanksgiving plumbing emergency.
- Encourage your house guests not to flush certain items or products down the drains such as napkins, hand wipes, facial scrubbers, hair, or other non-flushable products.
- Turn up the heat of your water heater slightly during the holidays to retain more hot water for your guests, but do not exceed 125°F
- Spread showers out through the day rather having them back to back. It’s best to have at least ten minutes between each, to maintain hot water.
- When you have guests, it’s important that your showers are ready. Place some vinegary in a plastic bag and fix it to your showerhead with a rubber band. Let it sit for a few hours. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub mineral deposits gently from your shower head to improve its flow and maintain pressure.
General Home Plumbing Thanksgiving Tips
While the bathroom and the kitchen will see the majority of the action over Thanksgiving, there are still some general guidelines to follow for taking care of your pipes during the holidays.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses to prevent them from freezing during extra-cold weather. They can also cause leakage issues when they thaw out in the spring.
- As a preventative measure, it’s a good idea to insulate the pipes in your basement, attic, garage, crawl space, especially during extremely cold weather. A small trickle of water running through a frozen solid pipe can cause it to burst water everywhere.
- Stop drafts where water supply pipes are located, or anywhere pipes don’t get a lot of heat.
- Use a non-flammable heat source such as a blow dryer or heat lamp to help thaw out frozen pipes.
You may not realize it, but you’re putting your home plumbing to the test during the holidays when you’re cooking big, elaborate meals and you have a lot of guests in the home. A lot of drain clogs happen around the holidays due to the buildup of debris such as soap residue, grease, hair, or food. Build-ups like these happen over time, but the holidays are typically the tipping point when real plumbing emergencies can occur. During the holidays there is simply more grease, food, and other debris in or near the garbage disposal and drains. There are more showers and baths which require more hot water when your pipes are already straining against the cold weather. When there’s more activity, there’s more chances for emergencies to occur.
With the Thanksgiving Tips provided in this article you can extend the life of your plumbing system and help prevent any emergencies when it’s most vulnerable. Preventative maintenance is always the best policy when it comes to maintaining the best performing plumbing system possible, and don’t be afraid to reach out to professional plumber if you need to! During the holidays, preventative care is especially important so your family can enjoy a happy and safe holiday season!
If you need a little help with your plumbing or your sewers this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bob Oates; we’ve got the expertise and the years of experience necessary to provide you with plumbing and sewer maintenance to keep your pipes flowing smoothly all year long!