Plumbing mistakes to avoid during the Thanksgiving holiday

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Thanksgiving feast is all about dollar signs if you’re a plumber.

Thanksgiving Day, and even more so the day after, are the busiest days of the year for plumbers — primarily because of the mistakes we make around the grand meal. 

KDKA’s John Shumway has the list of mistakes and recommendations.

The crowd in the house has a way of making plumbing weaknesses show themselves, which is why a lot of toilets get clogged, but the kitchen is the bigger culprit where mistakes are made.

The turkey, gravy, potatoes, dressing, and cranberry sauce all taste so good going down, unless we’re talking about going down the sink. 

Plumbers make big money off of folks confusing a disposal for a trash can. 

“People put excessive material down their garbage disposable thinking it’s a garbage can,” said Mike Ference, Business Development Manager for Greater Pittsburgh Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. “Everything from, you know, eggshells to potato peelings and doing it all at once, thinking that it’s just a a cure all for everything.”

Ference says it’s a clog waiting to find its spot in your pipes, especially in older homes.

“Make sure that you’re cleaning your plates as clean as you possibly can into the garbage can,” Ference said.

After that, you can rinse the rest into the disposal.

“Make sure that you run a lot of water behind it,” Ference said.

But make sure you avoid putting things like potato peels, turkey bones, skin, and greasy things away from the disposal.

Ference says that when the grease, including gravy, comes in contact with cold water in the pipes, it coagulates into a clog. 

He says his company also gets plenty of bathroom calls due to the sheer number of people in the house. 

“You know, they’re using excessive paper or the non flushable wipes that they’re putting down through the sanitary system,” Ference said. “Again, that’s a another bad idea that can lead to a lot of uncalled-for emergencies.”

Ference says it’s not a bad idea sometime before your company arrives to flush all your toilets and run all your faucets just to make sure everything is running and draining okay.

Remember, while it may be called a disposal, it doesn’t really dispose of everything. If you use it and clog your pipes, it will dispose of your money for that emergency call to the plumber.

While emergency calls may be good for business, Ference says he’d rather his employees get to spend time with their families during the holiday.