There’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving in Newport Beach, CA: the traditional feast of turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and pies of course, but also the sunshine and warm temperatures, relaxing with family and other loved ones, and watching or playing football. However, not everyone gets to take a 4-day weekend off from work.
Thanksgiving weekend, and in particular, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest time of year for plumbers. It makes sense — there are numerous extra guests in the house using the sinks, showers, and toilets more and a huge meal is being prepared, using significantly more water than usual and putting additional strain on the house’s plumbing system. Whether it’s a clogged or slow drain, backed up toilet, or an overloaded garbage disposal, the last thing you want to have to worry about during the holiday weekend is plumbing issues.
To avoid having to call an emergency plumberover Thanksgiving weekend when your house is full of visitors, follow these tips:
Stick with Stuffing the Turkey
Your garbage disposal is a reliable workhorse on an average day, but Thanksgiving is a completely different ball game and care must be taken so as not to overwork it. Overloading a garbage disposal or putting objects down it that don’t belong there can cause it to back up or even break.

  • Don’t put any bones or fruit rinds down the disposal. The blades are not strong enough to process these properly, so large chunks can easily get stuck in the pipes and cause a backup.
  • Cooking oils and fats should never be poured down the drain. The grease solidifies once it cools, which can lead to a harmful buildup in the pipes. Consider using paper towels to wipe up messes from oil or let the grease solidify in a container and then scrape it into the trash.
  • Avoid putting starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, or pasta into the disposal. These items often expand in water, which can create a multitude of problems in the pipes. While most disposals can process small quantities of food, it’s best to toss food waste into the trash, particularly on a holiday such as Thanksgiving.
  • Use a sink strainer. This simple, inexpensive item provides an excellent solution, catching food particles and preventing them from entering — and getting stuck — in the drain. As you get busy with meal preparations, it’s easy to get distracted and toss things into the disposal by accident. A sink strainer can be the difference in you having to call an emergency plumber during the festivities.
  • Turn the disposal and run warm water before throwing food scraps into it. If you absolutely have to throw food into the disposal, turning it on and running water beforehand helps prevent an overworked motor or clogged pipe. Don’t wait to run the disposal until it’s already full.

Bathroom Etiquette
Between the potatoes, turkey, and second helpings of pie, it’s no wonder the bathroom is one of the most popular rooms in the house on Thanksgiving. With all the additional toilet paper and waste being flushed down the toilets, a backup or clog requiring an emergency plumber is much more likely. Although bathroom talk is not a favorite conversation for topic for anyone, discussing a few guidelines with your guests will make sure the Thanksgiving celebrations aren’t interrupted by a plumbing emergency.

  • Implement a Two-Flush Rule. Ask visitors to flush the toilet once to ensure everything has gone completely down the drain. Keep a plunger in plain sight in the bathroom to save your guests the embarrassment of having to ask for one if it is needed.
  • Only toilet paper should be flushed. Make sure there is a trash can in the bathroom and request that guests do not flush baby wipes, wet wipes, cotton balls, or anything other than toilet paper. These items do not dissolve and will cause a clog.

Shower & Sink Safety
Between the big meal prep and people washing their hands and showering more often, your home’s plumbing pipes are used significantly more over Thanksgiving weekend. With a bit of care and some basic ground rules for water usage, you can avoid a call to an emergency plumber this weekend using these tips.

  • If you’re hosting more than 10 or so people, ask people to wait at least 15 minutes between showers to give the water plenty of time to drain. This can go a long way in preventing a major water backup or slowdown in the shower.
  • Ask your guests not to rinse any hair down the drains. Hair is one of the most common reasons an emergency plumber is called for clogged, slow, or backed-up drains, and it really causes major issues in a home’s plumbing system.

Finally, don’t attempt a DIY repair job if a plumbing emergency does come up. Thanksgiving weekend, when your house is full of visitors, is not the time to try fixing a broken garbage disposal or unclogging a backed-up toilet. Leave those services to your local Newport Beach, CA emergency plumber. If you make a mistake trying to fix a plumbing issue yourself, you could cause more damage and create an even bigger problem.
It is a common misconception that plumbers aren’t available on Thanksgiving, when in reality it is one of their busiest times of the year so they are typically fully staffed or on-call. Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Orange County is your Newport Beach, CA emergency plumber and while we hope your family doesn’t have to deal with any plumbing mishaps this Thanksgiving, our licensed, professional service technicians will be on standby just in case you do.
Photo By Monkey Business Images at Shutterstock