Nov 13

Holiday Plumbing Tips

The Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching and most people are thinking about preparing the turkey, but if you are hosting the holiday this year, it’s also a good idea to get your plumbing ready. Here are a few tips to help avoid inviting the plumber to Thanksgiving dinner!

  • Prepare your garbage disposal. An impressive amount of food is prepared on Thanksgiving, which means we put our garbage disposals to the test. To make sure yours is ready, give it a good cleaning before you get started. Put some ice and rock salt into the disposal, and run it for a couple of minutes. That will help break up any sludge and allow the blades to work more efficiently.
  • Use your disposal correctly. There is definitely a right and wrong way to run a disposal. Unless you want us showing up for leftover turkey sandwiches, be sure to turn the water on then turn on the disposal then add scraps. Too many people jam food down the disposal before hitting the switch, which increases the chances of the impellers getting jammed.  Also, when it sounds like the disposal has finished grinding everything, allow the water to run for a few seconds longer to wash away any debris.
  • If your disposal gets clogged, don’t run the dishwasher. Your disposal and dishwasher likely share a drain, so if one’s plugged, that means the other is, too.
  • Be smart about what goes in the disposal. The worst part about Thanksgiving dinner is the messPeople tend to be in hurry to finish the clean-up process and get to the dessert and inadvertently put things down the disposal that don’t belong. As a reminder, here are some basic disposal do’s and don’ts:
  • Don’t put potato peels in the disposal.
  • Don’t pour grease or oil down the kitchen sink.
  • Don’t try to grind fibrous vegetables like celery and onions.
  • Don’t use your disposal for pasta and rice. While those scraps won’t hurt the disposal, they could create a gluey clog downline.
  • Don’t grind bones.
  • Do cut up large food scraps.
  • Do run cold water with your disposal, not hot.
  • Don’t flush food.  Let’s say that despite your best efforts, your disposal calls it quits 15 minutes into your four-hour meal prep. Unless you’re hoping to create a Thanksgiving legend, please avoid the temptation to flush your scraps.
  • Cousin Eddie -proof your toilets. Before your holiday guests arrive, make sure your toilets are in good working order. Check the flush valves and chains, test the water shut-off valves (just in case), and check for leaks in and around the toilets. If you have any issues with the toilet, give us a call beforehand and we can take care of it days before your guests arrive.
  • Pre-treat your drains. More people in your house means more activity for your plumbing. If there’s build-up in your drains, they’ll be sluggish, which is inconvenient at best. So before guests arrive, pour ½ cup of baking soda in every drain, followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Cover the draining openings, and let the mixture soak for 20 minutes or so before rinsing with hot water.
  • Prep your showers. If you’re having overnight guests, treat your shower drains with baking soda and vinegar, as described above and consider protecting the drains with strainers to prevent hair clogs. Clean your shower head by putting vinegar in a plastic bag and securing the bag around the shower head with a rubber band. Leave the bag around the shower head for a few hours. Remove the bag and turn on the water for a few minutes to clear the vinegar out of the shower head.  Finally, space out showers by at least 20 minutes to allow your drains to clear and your hot water heater to recover.

Most importantly…. If you suspect plumbing issues today, don’t take a wait-and-see approach over the holidays. Call Edwardson Plumbing, we’d be happy to take care of any plumbing issues you have now so you can avoid any extra Thanksgiving drama. Give us a call today! (608) 290-9144