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A Thanksgiving M-e-s-s

This seems to happen a lot during the holidays.  Several years ago, I discovered that my kitchen drain instead of draining away, was backing up into the bathtub in our main bathroom.  This happened on Thanksgiving morning......the culprit being the drain pipe where the kitchen drain and bathtub drain "meet" (think of a "Y") on their way to the city sewer in the street.  The garbage disposal couldn't handle all the potato peelings, lettuce and celery leaves, small pieces of stalk and other salad residue that I had been shoveling in it and they caused a mega plug resulting in water, ground up garbage backing up and floating in the bathtub.

 Clogs in the kitchen sink are usually the result of excessive amounts of food being flushed down the drain. Before trying to get a plumber on a holiday morning, try dislodging the plug using a sink plunger, which is smaller and shaped differently than a toilet plunger. (in a pinch, use any plunger available.)  Place the plunger over the drain hole, ensuring there's enough water at the bottom to form a seal. Pump the plunger up and down - while keeping a good seal - to help dislodge a clog.

 If that doesn't work, try pouring hot or near-boiling water down the drain. The water's heat may break up the combination of organic products and soap scum within the clog. A mixture of vinegar, baking soda and hot water can add more clog-busting power to your drain-clearing efforts.

 Although it may be tempting to pour in over-the-counter drain-clearing products such as Drano, many plumbers advise against it. Not only are the chemicals toxic if exposed to human skin, they can also damage drain pipes if overused.  And, my plumber said that for their own safety, many plumbers hesitate to work on a drain that has been doused with drain cleaners or other concoctions. 

 A word to the wise,  to avoid a clogged drain, buy a little sink drainer that fits over the garbage disposal drain in your sink.  If you have a two unit kitchen sink, use a drainer in both.