Did you know that Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers? In fact, Black Friday can bring as much as a 50% increase in calls as compared to a normal Friday for plumbers. With a large number of guests, and an excess amount of kitchen use, it should be no surprise that the day after Thanksgiving is a very busy day for plumbers. There are however, some things you can be doing to help avoid a Thanksgiving plumbing crisis.
Contrary to what you may be thinking (toilet issues?), the number one reason plumbers are called on the day after Thanksgiving is for a clogged kitchen sink. As you can imagine, if you’ve ever cooked for a full house, things can get a little messy in the kitchen area, and it’s easy to overlook common kitchen sink drain rules during the hustle and bustle of the day. Throwing the scraps in the sink may just seem like the easiest way to dispose of things – but it can actually make things more complicated.
While toilet issues are not the most common Thanksgiving plumbing problem, your bathroom is the second most affected area of the home. The reasons for this may be pretty obvious.
- A home that usually houses a family of 2-5 is now potentially accommodating 20+ visitors. This means much more flushing, sink use, and much less control.
- On a normal day-to-day basis, you and your family have control of what’s being flushed down the toilet because you all understand what can affect your specific system and what to avoid flushing. However, guests may not know these rules, and let’s face it, toilet etiquette is awkward to enforce. This can specifically be an issue if you have a septic system and guests are not familiar with how a septic system works, and what can and cannot be flushed.
We know no one wants a family gathering to get spoiled with Thanksgiving plumbing issues, so here are some tips to help avoid a plumbing emergency during, or after Thanksgiving –
- Take Care Of Plumbing Problems Before Thanksgiving – While your pipes will see a lot more action on holidays, one day of entertaining shouldn’t typically equate to an emergency. Plumbing issues don’t often happen overnight, and are usually the result of building up over time. By proactively maintaining and servicing your plumbing, you can help to clear small clogs, minor buildups, and make minor repairs on a consistent basis so that additional usage doesn’t cause an unwanted Thanksgiving plumbing emergency.
- Proper Garbage Disposal Usage – If you have a garbage disposal, you (hopefully) already know how to use it, and how not to use it. Thanksgiving Day is no different. Making sure to follow these rules, even during the chaos, is key in preventing the need to call a plumber on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Some of the rules to remember to follow are – not filling the garbage disposal completely before turning it on, do not use it for grease, fat or oil, do not grind up fatty or stringy foods (this includes a lot of popular Thanksgiving foods).
- Sink Strainers – Most homeowners make use of a sink strainer regularly, but making sure to use one when entertaining is particularly important. Often times a strainer could lead to a slower sink drain because it is doing exactly what it’s meant to, catch debris. This debris can buildup in the strainer and slow the water drain down. For many Thanksgiving entertainers, this may be frustrating and result in removing the strainer. However, this is not a good idea, because that means all of the excess food remnants are now going directly down your drain.
- Monitor The Flush – As we mentioned above, controlling what gets flushed down your toilet is a bit tougher when you have guests over, especially if some of those guests are toddlers. Doing your best to monitor your visiting toddlers, especially when they enter the bathroom, could save you a big plumbing emergency headache.
- Avoid DIY Right Before Thanksgiving – While we always stress that DIY plumbing is not the best idea (unless you have experience), we want to double emphasize that experimenting with your plumbing right before entertaining is a bad idea. Improper plumbing repair on a normal day can lead to an emergency plumbing situation, so imagine the repercussions of improperly repaired plumbing before 20-40 guests arrive? Do yourself a favor and call the professionals before the emergency!
By following these plumbing tips, we hope that you can avoid dealing with Thanksgiving plumbing disasters and/or the need to call your plumber on Black Friday. Entertaining can be stressful enough without an added plumbing emergency. Give Kulk’s Plumbing & Heating a call for your proactive plumbing repairs and maintenance, so we can help you to avoid plumbing emergencies. If you find yourself in the middle of a plumbing crisis on or after Thanksgiving, we are available 24.7 to assist in emergency situations.