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How to avoid Thanksgiving plumbing problems

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is a lucrative time for plumbers. Grease, food and even the extra hair and toilet paper produced by holiday guests can clog household plumbing.

Head off problems with these tips:

-- Don’t pour fats or cooking oils down the drain.

-- Keep stringy, fibrous foods out of the garbage disposer. That includes poultry skins, carrots, celery and banana peels. 

-- Go easy with potato peels. The starch swells in water and can clog drains. If you’re peeling a lot of potatoes, either feed the peels into the disposal gradually or dispose of them in the trash or, better yet, the compost pile. 

-- Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the disposal to flush waste down the main line. 

-- Use strainers in bathtub drains to catch soap residue, hair and lotions. 

--  Don't flush any paper except toilet paper down the toilet. The stronger fibers in facial tissue don't dissolve readily. 

-- Equip each bathroom with a wastebasket so guests and family members aren't tempted to use the toilet as a garbage can.

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