Keep Your Plumbing & Garbage Disposal Safe During The Holidays

plumbing and the holidaysThe holidays have finally arrived and for most of us, it means having guests in from out of town and preparing great big feasts for friends and family to enjoy. It is a time to bake special treats that only are made during this time of year. However, as great as the holidays are they can be quite difficult on your home’s plumbing system.

Not everyone follows the same rules when it comes to what they think that they can flush down the toilet. In your house, your family might not flush anything outside of waste and toilet paper down the toilet, but your house guests might think differently. They might think that the toilet is the perfect place to dispose of diapers or baby wipes. Even if they don’t abide by a different set of plumbing rules, a toilet can get clogged simply by being overused. In the following article by Duluth News Tribune, they discuss how the holidays can take a toll on your plumbing:

Holidays can be tough on homes’ plumbing

“You’re adding more usage,” Kalkbrenner said.

Not only are toilets getting plugged from more use; garbage disposals are being overtaxed with scraps from big holiday dinners.

All of that volume can lead to the worst plumbing problem of all for homeowners: a clogged main sewer drain.

For those who have had trouble in the past, the best plan, the plumbers said, is to call for service in advance of the holidays to make sure everything is working properly.

And Kalkbrenner says hosts should take anything that could fall into the toilet out of the bathroom. Better safe than sorry, she said. She recalled a pill bottle causing an obstruction. And don’t put unwanted food down a toilet, she said.

To see the full article, click here.

According to this article, making sure that your plumbing is working correctly before you invite a bunch of house guests to stay with you can help you avoid some holiday plumbing problems. Make sure to lessen the amount that you use your garbage disposal. If you are cautious about what goes down your garbage disposal especially when preparing a big meal, it can help avoid putting something down your garbage disposal that shouldn’t be there or just preventing from overusing it.

One of the biggest issues that plumbers claim to see during the holidays has to do with the garbage disposal. Many people don’t think about what they shove down their garbage disposal especially with so much going on in the kitchen. In the following article by Press Release Rocket, they discuss some of the things that you should avoid putting down your garbage disposal:

Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Garbage Disposal During the Holiday Season

Oil, Grease, and Fats

Pouring grease or fats down the drain is one of the fastest ways to end up with a clogged drain. That’s because grease, fats and oils solidify as they cool down. While they may be easy to pour down the sink, you’ll end up with a nasty clog on your hands that will need to be removed by a qualified Phoenix area plumber.

Starchy Foods

Foods with a lot of starch such as pasta, potatoes and rice should also be left out of the garbage disposal. The starch will build up in pipes over time, causing clogs and sink backups. It’s better to keep those potato peels in a strainer and toss them in the trash. That will save you a headache and a call to the plumber down the road.

Stringy, Fibrous Foods

Even poultry skins, celery and fruit can cause problems when they go into the disposal. The blades can’t adequately grind down those items, which means they’ll end up going down the drain and contributing to a clogged kitchen sink.

Aside from keeping certain foods out of garbage disposal, it’s important to make sure you are using it correctly.

“Don’t fill your garbage disposal before you switch it on,” says Ken DiCicco with Donley Service Center. “Run warm water and turn the disposal on before you put anything in it.”

This section was originally found on the “Press Release Rocket” website which can be viewed here.

Sometimes it is best to just keep a trash can nearby so that you don’t use your garbage disposal like a trash can. Furthermore, if you are not the only one working in the kitchen, then keeping a trash can nearby will allow for your house guest kitchen helper to have access to it also. You will not have to micromanage and guard your disposal which can lead to an uncomfortable and stressful situation. If your garbage disposal happens to get clogged, then there are various things that you can do. In the following article by For Dummies, they discuss what you can do when you have a clogged garbage disposal:

If the instructions in your user’s manual are no help, follow these steps to unclog a disposal:

  1. Shut off the electrical power switch. This switch is located under the cabinet, near the disposal, or on a wall nearby. If you don’t find a switch, go to the main power panel and turn off the breaker or remove the fuse that powers the disposal. Never put your hand in the disposal. Remember that the switch may be defective, so keep your hands out of the disposal even when power to the machine is turned off. 
  2. Take a look in the disposal. A flashlight may shed some light on the problem — you may see a large object caught in the disposal.
  3.  If an object caused the stoppage, use a pair of pliers to reach into the disposal and remove it.
  4. Wait 15 minutes for the disposal motor to cool.
  5. Turn on the power and push the reset or overload protector button. This button is located on the bottom of the disposal.

To see the full article, click here.

It can be easy to unclog a garbage disposal if you follow these steps. However, most plumbing repairs should be left for the pros. If you want to keep your plumber at home for the holidays, then your best best is to just use precaution during the holidays by making sure that your plumbing is in top shape before your house guests arrive. It is also a great idea to make sure that when holiday meals are being prepared, to have a trash can available so that your garbage disposal is not being used like a trash can. Know what you can and can not put down your drain and into your garbage disposal if you want to avoid clogged pipes and a clogged garbage disposal.


For a professional plumber in your area, Robinson Plumbing can assist you with any plumbing questions that you might have as well as address any of your plumbing needs. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family owned company that is known for trusted, quality service.

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have!