Protecting Your Plumbing During The Thanksgiving Holiday

The abundance of food and guests over the Thanksgiving holiday may put your plumbing to the test. However, there are steps you can take both before and during the annual feast that may help to minimize the likelihood of plumbing problems.

In the kitchen

Before the big day

Before the holiday cooking and feasting commences, you should check your kitchen sink to be sure that the sink is draining normally. A slow or partially clogged drain may cause a complete stoppage when your drain is challenged by Thanksgiving day cooking.

If the sink is draining slowly, you can clean out the sink trap below the sink. It is a "J" shaped fitting that is attached to your sink's drain pipe. To remove and clean it, simply loosen the plastic compression nut at the top and the plastic threaded nut on the bottom with an adjustable wrench. 

Hold the sink trap upright when removing the second nut, because the sink trap is likely to be filled with vile smelling water and sludge. Keep a bucket handy to place the trap into after removing. Use a garden hose or another sink to flush out the trap before replacing it by reconnecting the two plastic nuts.

On Thanksgiving day

You will need to be vigilant about keeping forbidden items from being disposed of in the kitchen sink, even if you are the only one cooking. Forbidden items include:

  • Hot grease. It will coagulate deep inside your drain pipes. This is true for sinks with or without a garbage disposal.

Sinks with a garbage disposal

  • Bones. Especially poultry bones, which will splinter in your drain pipes. 
  • Egg shells. The membrane inside will shred into long strings.

In the bathroom

Thanksgiving will be hard enough on your toilets without added clogging agents. Only toilet tissue and human waste should go into your toilet, so you must be proactive by providing receptacles for items that may be flushed by guests. 

If babies will be present at the gathering, provide a diaper pail for both diapers and baby wipes, even if they are supposed to be flushable. Although it may be awkward, you should place a small sign above the diaper pail to request that all baby products and feminine hygiene products be placed in the diaper pail. Provide a roll of plastic disposal bags for guests' privacy.

You should flush the toilets occasionally while the guests are present to ensure that no potential problems are imminent. Keep a small pump style plunger handy if a toilet is draining slowly and needs a little help getting rid of something that may have been tossed into it. This type of plunger, which resembles a small air pump, is effective and easier to use than traditional wooden handles plungers.

Preventing potential post-Thanksgiving day plumbing issues will allow you to join in with the teeming masses of holiday shoppers on Black Friday instead of trying to deal with a clogged sink or toilet. For further assistance, contact a local plumber, such as one from Walt's Plumbing.


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