Common Thanksgiving Plumbing Issues

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 19, 2016

Plumbing supplies & parts

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers? While you are enjoying a good meal with your family, watching Uncle Frank doze off before the pumpkin pie is served or watching the football game, plumbers are hard at work at homes all over the country. So unless you want to invite a local plumber over to your home on Thanksgiving, make sure you don’t do the things that put plumbers to work.

The Disposal

The garbage disposal will be the origination of most Thanksgiving and holiday plumbing problems. The problem is during the hours and hours of cooking, either too much waste gets thrown down the disposal or items are discarded that cannot be broken down. No matter what the reason, if you call an emergency plumber during the holidays, he’s likely to head straight into the kitchen without needing to know the exact reason for your call.

Here are some tips: First, even if you aren’t going to be the actual cook for this meal (we know how pushy your mother-in-law can be), make sure that everyone who is going to be using the disposal knows what shouldn’t be put in there:

  • No corn husks
  • No grease
  • No bones
  • No potato skins
  • No egg shells
  • No lettuce
  • No metal, of course

Second, don’t stuff too much down the disposal at once. Do a little at a time. If you see a problem, pay to have a plumber fix the disposal before you find yourself standing in a flooded kitchen.

It can be a tricky hoop to jump through, since this meal is often a group effort, but you either need to marshal everything that will go in the disposal or put out a mandate of how to use it. Everyone will, of course, feel insulted, but it is better to be safe than to have your kitchen flood just as everyone sits down to eat.

So Many Guests

On a typical Thanksgiving, a normal household of 4-5 people can swell to more than 20, what with both sides of the family and all their kids. So consider that there might be 4-5 times the amount of hands being washed, glasses of water to fill, and trips to the bathroom, which is going to distress your plumbing in general.

While there is nothing you can do to force people to use the bathroom less or cook less, you can make sure that everyone (mainly the kids) knows what can and can’t be flushed to avoid paying for toilet repair during the holidays. You might even say to your guests the plumbing has been acting up so keep a close eye on it. This will ensure your guests are mindful when they use the garbage disposal or visit the bathroom, and it might, just might, keep your local plumber off your guest list.

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  1. Dad sanneh, November 22:

    I live in Decatur, Georgia. I have a leak coming from my bathtub leaking downstairs. My insurance came to inspect it but I need a plumber to re-examine it to see where the leak coming from. I need it fixed.

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