Don't Be A Turkey When It Comes To Your Drains This Thanksgiving

23 November 2015
 Categories: , Articles


Thanksgiving is a time for feasting with friends and family, so the last thing you'd expect to be doing is wrestling with a clogged drain. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways you can absentmindedly clog up your drains while preparing for or cleaning up after the meal. The following offers a few helpful tips you can use to avoid a plumbing catastrophe this Thanksgiving.

Beware of Turkey Drippings

Draining those turkey drippings from your pots and plates seems harmless, but it can actually do a number on your plumbing. Although it initially goes down easily enough when hot, turkey fats and grease can congeal deep within your sink plumbing, resulting in blockages.

Instead of sending fats and grease down the drain, temporarily store them in spare containers. Once the grease has solidified, you'll be able to toss it out with your normal garbage. If you have large amounts of fat and grease to deal with, you can take it to your local landfill or recycling station after the holidays.

Don't forget that some oils can be safely reused. For instance, bacon fats and grease can be filtered and kept in the fridge for later reuse.

Don't Use Your Garbage Disposal as a Trash Can

Sending all of your leftover stuffing, vegetables and other fixings down the garbage disposal could also give your plumbing the Thanksgiving blues. For example, rice and stuffing can easily become starchy and sticky when ground up and sent down the drain by your garbage disposal, resulting in some rather nasty clogs. Potato peelings and turkey skins can also cause the same issue.

Like turkey drippings, you don't want to dump the bulk of your table scraps in the garbage disposal. Instead, scrape as much of your scraps into the garbage can as possible. Only then should you use your disposal to get rid of the remaining bits and pieces, which should be few and far between. Don't forget to turn the water on prior to starting the garbage disposal.

If you're concerned about accidentally dropping food into the garbage disposal, you can use a sink drain screen to keep large food bits out of your disposal.

Pass on the Paper Towels

Whenever you use paper towels for cleaning up various messes, make sure they go in the trash and not the toilet. Unlike toilet tissue, paper towels are not designed to break up and dissolve in water. This could cause problems as the paper towels end up jamming the plumbing, creating blockages that prove tough to deal with on your own.

It's also a good idea to keep your paper towels out of the bathroom (or at least out of easy reach) if you happen to have guests over for Thanksgiving dinner. Some people are tempted to reach for the paper towels if the toilet paper runs out.

Play the Waiting Game

If you plan to have guests over for Thanksgiving dinner, then you'll definitely want to think about the impact that a few extra people can have on your plumbing. This is especially true if you have a few people staying over for the weekend. For many homes that are still on septic tanks, adding a few extra users for sinks, showers and toilets could easily overwhelm systems designed for fewer people.

You may be able to take the load off of your drains simply by waiting several minutes in between major plumbing uses. For instance, you may want to have your guests wait 10 minutes in between showers to give slow drains a chance to empty out. This may be a bit aggravating for you and your guests, but playing the waiting game can help forestall any Thanksgiving Day troubles your plumbing could experience.

Deal With Drainage Problems Before the Holidays

In addition to the above tips, the best way to prevent drain problems from cramping your Thanksgiving style is to take care of them before the start of the holidays – or at least before your guests arrive. Putting off a service call from your local drain cleaning specialist could cost you dearly if you're currently struggling with drainage issues.

Check out websites like and have any issues addressed before your family arrives this holiday season.