Thanksgiving Survival Guide for Your Home’s Plumbing

Charlotte plumber garbage disposal

Thanksgiving is a great day for family, friends, and feasting. However, it’s not such a great day for your home’s plumbing. It’s a well-cited fact that plumbers’ call volume increases significantly the day after Turkey Day, and google searches for "emergency plumber open on Thanksgiving" shoot through the roof. But you can make sure your plumbing system has a decent holiday if you keep an eye on three potential problem areas: the garbage disposal, dishwasher, and bathroom.

Problem Area #1: The Garbage Disposal

So much food, so much clogging potential. It’s easy to want to toss all the scraps into the garbage disposal for the sake of easy cleanup, but your disposal and pipes have some objections to that. Don’t put any of the following in your garbage disposal:

  • Grease or fat (don’t pour it down the drain, period)
  • Poultry bones
  • Skins and peels (poultry, potato, vegetable, fruit, etc.)
  • Starches (rice, oatmeal, grits, pasta, etc.)
  • Fibrous vegetables (celery, lettuce, etc.)
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds

Also, be sure to keep the water running when you use the garbage disposal (and for a few seconds afterward) and only put in a few items at a time.

Problem Area #2: Dishwasher

This goes hand-in-hand with the garbage disposal tips. Say some too-helpful Thanksgiving guest didn’t read our blog post and put a bunch of Disposal Don’ts into the garbage disposal anyway…and now it’s clogged. You should do two things. First, do not run the dishwasher—it discharges into the disposal, so you’ll have clog backup and double trouble: a clogged disposal and a dishwasher flood. Second, give your guest a link to our blog so this doesn’t happen again next Thanksgiving.

If your disposal is okay and you are running the dishwasher, be careful not to overfill it. Better to run it multiple times than pack things too tightly. And of course, rinse off scraps first to avoid clogging the dishwasher.

Problem Area #3: Bathroom

Lots of guests means lots of flushing. Assess your bathroom for toilet issues, water pressure issues, and so on before anyone shows up—and warn guests if there’s something they need to be mindful of (and if you detect a problem, better to call a plumber before than after the party starts). Check the bathroom during the day, too, to make sure everything is okay. Save your guests the embarrassment of asking for a plunger—just in case—and leave one in plain sight near the toilet. Lastly, consider a friendly-worded Do Not Flush list as a reminder to guests (baby wipes, Q-tips, some feminine products, floss, etc.).

Did your plumbing not survive Thanksgiving after all?

Need an emergency plumber open on Thanksgiving? We serve Charlotte and a 30-mile radius, and we are available 24/7, 365 days a year—and we don’t charge extra for weekends, evenings, or holidays. Call us at 704-846-5371 or use our online contact form. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Charlotte plumber garbage disposal, emergency plumber open on Thanksgiving

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: What is the best way to prepare my plumbing for Thanksgiving?

To prepare your plumbing for Thanksgiving, first refrain from putting grease, bones, and starches in your garbage disposal. Do not run your dishwasher if your garbage disposal is clogged. Assess your bathroom for toilet and water pressure issues before guests arrive so you can fix the problem on your own or with the help of a plumber ahead of time.

What Charlotte plumbers are open on Thanksgiving? E.R. Plumbing Services of Charlotte is open on Thanksgiving.

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