Avoid Thanksgiving Clogged Drains – Get a Plumbing Tune Up Now

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When most Americans hear “Black Friday” they think of the big sales the day after Thanksgiving, but for many homeowners that Friday will be a truly dark day marked by clogged drains and plumbing emergencies. A master plumber says such situations are mostly predictable and preventable. He provides tips to help avoid them as he prepares for his busiest day of the year.

Berkey's president and licensed master plumber Bill Stevens with a Berkey's service truck.

Master plumber Bill Stevens says slow drains and toilets that don’t flush fully are signs of partially clogged drains that can result in emergency plumbing calls Thanksgiving weekend, when home plumbing systems most often fail.

If you have a toilet that isn't flushing completely, or a drain that holds water too long, get the problem looked at now, before clogged drains require a Thanksgiving emergency plumbing call.

Clogged drains are not what most people think about when they make Thanksgiving plans, but countless thousands of Americans will be adding plumbers to their guest lists sometime during the long weekend. Welcome to the other Black Friday.

Master Plumber Bill Stevens says many homeowners are closer to making an emergency plumbing call than they realize. “Many homes have partially clogged drains to begin with, and the additional strain put on plumbing systems at Thanksgiving by extra people – with all the extra cooking and cleanup that involves – finishes the job,” he said.

Stevens, president of Berkey’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., says plumbers around the Unites States get as many as 50 percent more calls that weekend than any other four-day period in the year. Most of the additional calls are for clogged drains that service garbage disposals and toilets.

“Uncle Bob may be taking a long shower while the grandkids are flushing Play-Doh down a toilet and the extra “helpers” in the kitchen are grinding potato peels and celery in the garbage disposal,” Stevens said. “Of course, those things don’t have to happen all at once to cause a serious failure.”

Thanksgiving Plumbing Survival Tips

Stevens offers these tips to help avoid emergency plumbing calls:

  • Wipe grease from pots with paper towels and dispose of the towels; don't pour fats or cooking oils down drains;
  • Don't feed your garbage disposal poultry skin, celery, fruit and potato peels, rice, pasta, or egg shells. Most disposers cannot sufficiently grind these (although we have a great InSinkErator model that can).
  • Don't grind too much at a time. Use a steady flow of smaller amounts instead.
  • Use cold water when grinding food waste. Hot water helps grease move further into the pipe, where it solidifies after it cools.
  • Continue to run cold water for 15 seconds after grinding is complete to carry the waste out of the pipes.
  • Run ice cubes through your garbage disposal to sharpen the blades.
  • Wait 10 minutes between showers so slow drains have time to work.
  • Retrieve items accidentally dropped in toilets, do not flush them (plumbers find cell phones, false teeth, pens and pencils, underwear and much more).
  • Get a pre-holiday plumbing tune up or inspection. Plumbers can fix slow drains before they become clogged.

“If you have a toilet that isn't flushing completely, or a drain that holds water too long, get the problem looked at now, before clogged drains require a Thanksgiving emergency plumbing call,” Stevens said.

About Berkey’s

Berkey’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has specialized in the needs of homeowners in Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Flower Mound for 35 years. Berkey’s reputation for prompt, honest service from licensed and factory trained technicians assures customers the best in professional service, combined with leading brands including American Standard, Rinnai, Toto, InSinkErator and more. Call Berkey’s at 1-877-BERKEYS, or visit our Website at http://www.berkeys.com.


Lee Pogue
Berkey’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning

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