Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for Roto-Rooter’s residential plumbers? Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to clogged drains from excessive waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal. Also, a house full of holiday guests who require additional clothes washing, showers and toilet flushes puts a strain on household plumbing.
Often, a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system. Hectic houses full of people and frantic hosts can quickly lead to plumbing problems throughout the holiday season.
Even more problematic is that virtually every traditional Thanksgiving dish is a supreme drain clog culprit.
According to Roto-Rooter, incoming calls for kitchen jobs alone will jump 50% above the average Friday. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend averages a 21% increase over any other Thursday through Sunday period during the year. In Roto-Rooter’s case, they prepare with additional staff to address the increase in calls and jobs.
Why do Plumbing Drains Get Clogged?
According to the experts at the NJ American Water Company, many sewer blockages occur between a house or business and the utility’s sewer main, where the property owner is responsible. Proper disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.) can mean avoiding an unnecessary plumbing bill during the holidays.
When washed down the drain, grease and oil can adhere to the insides of the pipes that carry the wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewer treatment facility.
Over time the buildup of grease can restrict the flow of wastewater, or worse yet, block the homeowner’s or utility’s sewer pipes. These blockages can lead to sewage overflows or backups in homes and businesses. It can also have an adverse effect on the environment if the overflow enters our rivers, lakes and streams.
How to Get Rid of Fats, Grease and Oils from Cooking
Don’t make these common mistakes that lead to clogged drains and expensive plumbing bills!
How-to Prevent Plumbing Clogs
Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips:
- Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw them in the trash.
- Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit and potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
- Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don’t wait until it’s full to turn it on.
- For homes hosting weekend guests, it’s a good idea to wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
- Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down a toilet. They don’t dissolve and will cause plumbing clogs.
- Try to address any plumbing problems before the holiday and before guests arrive. However, in holiday emergencies, don’t hesitate to ask up front about extra holiday service fees.
As always, know your limits. Minor plumbing problems often turn into clogged drains and catastrophes if not handled properly.