Thanksgiving is a plumbing nightmare
Many of us think of the winter and a white sheet of ice on the ground, but one of the bigger issues arises before the winter reaches this more idealized expression. When you are hosting a bunch of guests for Thanksgiving, your plumbing may be overwhelmed by all of the extra attention in combination with mechanical inattention. This also applies to Christmas, where you are eating a lot more of the food liable to be caught in a draining system.
Assume the disposal is breaking
Regular meal preparation or cleaning will fill your plumbing with grease and ‘leftovers,’ so to speak. And while your sink may be able to handle a buildup for a while, it’ll eventually catch up with you, making for an inconvenient roadblock to celebrating. In order to avoid this kind of blockage, expect the disposal to eventually be overwhelmed. The more you respect its limitation, the easier you’ll be able to continue using it.
Not everything goes in a disposal
One of the better means of keeping your disposal in effective working order is ensuring you only give it food the device can handle. Never feed your disposal egg shells, bones, rice, coffee, celery, lettuce, onion peels, corn husks, or pasta––any fibrous, stringy content may encircle the blade and cause a mess. In any event, regardless of the things you do insert, proceed in moderation: never force everything inside in one go.
Use running water in conjunction with your disposal
Also avoid grease downpour––a little may seem benign, yet the amount adds up where, more importantly, any grease solidifies in the bottom overnight. Running water will not get rid of the grease backup. Nevertheless, if you limit yourself to only the necessary amount of grease, rinsing the disposal for a minute will flush a reasonable amount. Facilitate the disposal by ensuring your water is running whenever the disposal is.
Ice cube or lemon peel for maintenance
As a preventative measure, dumping a few ice cubes in will aid in keeping your disposal blade sharp, which can alleviate a number of other blockages. From a sensory perspective, infusing your disposal with a citrus item, like a lemon peel, will enhance an otherwise dreadful odor. Returning to grease, the same concept applies to oil and fat––rather than tilting the cooking pan in the drain, wipe the surface with a cloth or paper towel, then dispose accordingly.
It’s easier to place everything in your disposal in the heat of entertaining a number of guests, but you’ll damage your sink and leave yourself a far higher amount of effort in the future. If you’re dealing with an unprecedented amount of one of the substances, leave it in bowl on a foil surface and, once the stuff is hardened, throw everything in a garbage can. You are your only line of defense against using your kitchen improperly.
Leave a note on toilet usage
The other likely culprit for plumbing complication amidst an increased number of houseguests is an accessible toilet. Again, the sensible usage of a toilet is up to the behavior of anyone using it. Nevertheless, you might consider leaving a note nearby in order to remind anyone under the influence they can’t flush anything they otherwise wouldn’t. If a guest confuses a napkin with a roll of toilet paper, you shouldn’t blame yourself; maybe cut off the eggnog.