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Between discarded leftovers and seasonal house guests, Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year for plumbers. In fact, plumbing problems spike 50% the day after Thanksgiving. Get through the holiday free and clear with these smart plumbing tips.

plumber fixing sinkPhoto: ImaginaryGirl, Flickr

As Thanksgiving approaches, turkeys aren't the only ones in imminent danger; your drains are in jeopardy too. According to most plumbers, the day after Thanksgiving is busiest day of the year, as calls from frantic homeowners with clogged drains flood the phone lines.

"Our phones will be ringing off the hook from homeowners who have clogged up their drain with leftover turkey and the fixings," notes Wayne Johnson of Minneapolis St. Paul Plumbing Heating Air, who writes in the company blog. "TV news stations will be requesting to meet us at homes to talk about the clogged drains."

According to Paul Abrams, a spokesman with Roto-Rooter headquarters in Cinncinatti, Ohio, calls about clogs spike 50% on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

"The big clog culprits are grease, potato peelings, rice, poultry skin, celery and stuffing down the garbage disposal," Abrams told us. "We also deal with a large number of clogged toilets and bathtub and shower drains plus laundry drains, simply because of all the extra use from having so many guests in the house."

In order to enjoy your traditional Thanksgiving meal and visitors without an extra, unwanted guest -- a pricey plumber -- consider these strategies:

plumbing problems, dirty dishes, Thanksgiving, sinkPhoto: Getty Images

Kitchen Plumbing Tips

- Do not put fats and cooking oil into pipes. They'll turn solid and create clogs. Instead, use paper towels to wipe grease from pots, then toss the towels in the trash.

- Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. You might not think these foods are dangerous to drains, but they are. Poultry skins, potato peels, celery and fruit, for instance, cannot be sufficiently broken down and can cause clogs. Here's how to fix a jammed garbage disposal.

- Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don't wait until it's full to turn it on. Here's how to clean a stinky garage disposal.

- Run lots of water as you use the garbage disposal. Keep the water running for a bit of time after you turn it off.

- Use the garbage can.To protect your drains even more, forgo use of the garbage disposal as much as possible and toss food waste into the trashcan. And if a pig farmer lives nearby who wants your food scraps, this is one day when you can be thankful for that. Here's how to clean a smelly garbage can.

Bathroom Plumbing Tips

- Take time between showers: If a lot of extra guests are in the house, there will be more water, hair and waste moving through the drains than. Try to wait 10 minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.

- Do not flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down the toilet. This applies during holidays or at any time. These things won't dissolve and will cause clogs. Here are two secret ways to clear a clogged drain.

  • GB

    Your first mistake is using a garbage disposal...

  • MIKE


  • Danny

    Yes, I noticed this year of 2010 that Most Busy person in Phladelphia, PA, my Dad is almost 70 years old and still doing as plumber.

  • 3 Comments / 1 Pages

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