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10 Thanksgiving Food That Can Cause Drain Damage

Besides Christmas, Independence Day, and New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving is among the most celebrated national holidays in the US. The popular occasion is often observed with festive parades and, of course, traditional family meals.

However, Thanksgiving feasts often result in so many leftovers. Sure, some can be stored in the ref to be re-heated for the next couple of days. Yet some will have to be thrown away, particularly the ones that spoil quickly.

Many think the throwing away part is pretty straightforward since they just have to dump everything in their garbage disposal. However, these machines are not designed to handle all types of food. Fatty foods, for instance, are particularly problematic because they could clog your drain and sewer pipes. They fall under the FOG food category, which is short for fats, oils, and grease, one of the leading causes of sewage leaks in the country. FOG buildup in the pipes can lead to serious drain problems.

Thanksgiving Food That Can Cause Plumbing Problems

Many homeowners dump Thanksgiving food down the kitchen sink when they shouldn’t. Doing so can lead to drain damage or broken garbage disposals, which, unfortunately, happens quite often during post-Thanksgiving dinner cleanups. It is also why the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for plumbers.

To prevent this from happening, avoid throwing the listed Thanksgiving food down the drain so you can have a worry-free Thanksgiving.

1. Turkey Skin

Turkey skin is oily and fatty, a greasy mess if it gets inside your plumbing pipes. Even if you remove the skin from your garbage disposal, its oil may have already trickled down the pipes where it will stick. The correct way of disposing of leftover turkey skin is to throw it out with the rest of your garbage.

The gravy of your turkey can also be a problem if it comes into contact with your sink drains. Like turkey skin, gravies are fatty and can also cause drain damage.

2. Turkey Bones

Although turkey bones, particularly the smaller ones, can be a bit soft, it doesn’t mean your garbage disposal can grind them down into tiny pieces. These can actually cause the blades of your disposal to become dull. The bones will bounce around the disposal unit and cause a jam. Worst, they could fly out of the machine and hit someone. It’s best to toss the bones in the trash bin.

3. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are soft and may seem like they will just easily seep down the drain. However, potatoes are starchy and fibrous, which can become a sticky paste that can damage your home pipes.

The sticky nature of potatoes can completely block the drain, disallowing water and other liquid substances from flowing through. If not addressed immediately, this can lead to drain damage and backups. As with turkey skin, mashed potatoes, including their peels, should be placed in the trash can.

4. Pasta and Rice

Much like potatoes, pasta and rice are starchy foods and could cause the same problems when they reach your plumbing. Furthermore, when pasta and rice mix with water, they expand or swell, eventually forming a glue-like substance and resulting in a blocked pipe. You’ll have to get a good plumber to unclog a drain pipe.

5. Coffee Grounds

Like rice and pasta, coffee grounds expand when you dispose of them in water. Down the drain, they are among the common foodstuffs that can cause a clog, especially when they begin to cool and harden.

6. Fibrous Vegetables

These vegetable types, particularly the stringy varieties, have tough skins that can wrap around the blades of your garbage disposal, preventing them from turning. Asparagus, celery, corn husks, and artichokes are good examples of stringy vegetables.

7. Salads and Dressing

Mashed potatoes are not the only starchy and fibrous food you should be worried about during post-Thanksgiving cleanup. Lettuce and other high-fiber salad veggies can also bring in potential drain problems. This is especially true when they are covered in salad dressings, which are usually oily. Leftover salads and dressings should ideally be thrown out with the rest of your garbage.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

Although they are more commonly used during Halloween, pumpkin seeds are also sometimes made part of various salad dishes during Thanksgiving. Some people opt to throw excess pumpkin seeds in their kitchen sinks, which is not the best thing to do because the seeds can dry up, become hard, and block your drainage. They should be thrown away, although an alternative is to roast or bake them, turning them into a yummy snack.

9. Eggshells

Some people believe eggshells can sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal, but this is just a myth. The hard truth is that egg shells can block your drain if you throw them down the sink. The shell’s hard outer layer can be grounded in sand-like consistency and stick to the pipes. Even a superior drain cleaning product may not work in this case. Also, the stringy membrane layer can wrap itself around the disposal’s shredder rings and prevent them from functioning.

10. Cooking Oil

Cooking oil and grease poured down the drain regularly can accumulate over time and cause serious damage to your pipes. As grease cools, it hardens and can result in blocked pipes. This can lead to backups in the main sewers. Grease should be placed in a glass container, allowed to cool and turn to solid, then disposed of properly.

Key Takeaway

Thanksgiving is a grand American holiday, and it’s not uncommon for many to host a major get-together. Naturally, delicious and mouth-watering food fills the Thanksgiving table. Many of them, however, often end up as leftovers and will have to be thrown away.

This is where various plumbing problems crop up. Many homeowners want to know when should foods be removed from the sink, but this should not be there in the first place. Dumping Thanksgiving leftovers down the drain can only lead to problems with your plumbing. This is because your drainage is not designed to take in all forms of food scraps. Until people fully realize this, they will continue asking plumbers or a plumbing contractor to help them with their post-Thanksgiving plumbing challenges.

Trust A Better Plumber to be around when you want to know how to fix plumbing problems before and after Thanksgiving Day.

Homeowners are almost expected to have plumbing problems before and after Thanksgiving Day. There’s no need to worry, though, because you can count on A Better Plumber to be around to help you via a simple phone call.

Contact our plumber in Colorado Springs, and rest assured that you’ll get the needed help right away for your pre and post-Thanksgiving plumbing issues. For all other plumbing-related concerns, don’t hesitate to call us anytime.

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