If you’re like many Americans, your Thanksgiving Day is full to the brim with family, fun, football, and food. Can we talk about the food for a minute? Flaky pie crusts, juicy turkey, green bean casserole, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, and butter, butter, butter. There are very few things that can feed the soul like mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and a fluffy roll.
Once bellies are full, and the tryptophan-induced napping is over, it’s time for everyone’s least favorite chore: clean up. As wonderful as the food is, if you’re not careful when you clean, your plumbing could be in deep trouble.
For plumbers, Thanksgiving Day is surprisingly busy. The Thanksgiving feasts often result in clogged drains because people indiscriminately toss their food scraps and greasy dishes into the sink. Mistakes that lead to plumbing problems are often avoidable, but they do require a little bit of foreknowledge. Homeowners who don’t use safe food disposal skills are often faced with the additional expenses of hiring a plumber to fix the problems that result.
It’s relatively easy to avoid clogged drains and expensive plumbing services by remembering the following:
- Don’t throw everything in the garbage disposal: Your garbage disposal is not a trash can. Most of the dinner leftovers and scraps should go to the trash can instead of the garbage disposal unit in the kitchen sink. When you do run your garbage disposal, slowly feed it with kitchen waste, and let the water run to prevent a clogged drain. You might be tempted to scrape off your plate into the garbage disposal, but resist the urge.
- Some food is not meant for the garbage disposal: Items such as fruits, potato skins, poultry bones and skin, and fatty remains are better tossed in the garbage can than the garbage disposal. Those items are difficult to grind and will only clog the disposal’s drain.
- Grease and water do not mix: Pouring grease down the drain is never a good idea. When grease and cold water mix, the grease solidifies around the inner perimeter of your pipes. This can cause a blockage in your drain that could lead to very costly remediation. It’s a good idea to wipe off your greasy pans with a paper towel before you put the dishes into the sink to minimize the amount of grease that goes down the drain. If you are dealing with large amounts of oil, pour it into a container, put a lid on it, and throw it in the trash.
- Run water while you run the disposal: It’s very important for your garbage disposal’s health to run water before you turn on your disposal. Even more importantly, you need to keep the water running for a minute or so more after turning the disposal off. This makes sure that all of the food items that could damage your disposal get washed away.
Thanksgiving Day is supposed to be filled with traditions and turkey, not plumbing problems. Be considerate of your drains and garbage disposal because careless clean-up could end up costing you big bucks. You can use the money that you’ve saved on averting a plumbing disaster to go Black Friday shopping.