Turkey, stuffing and clogged drains.
The day after Thanksgiving may be a vital day for retailers, but it's also the single busiest day of the year for Roto-Rooter's residential plumbers, Fox 19 reports.
Incoming calls to Roto-Rooter, the largest plumbing services company in North America, will jump 50 percent above average on Black Friday, according to the report.
Part of the problem is the unusual build up of Thanksgiving-related wastes.
Pumpkin entrails, turkey dressing and bones can cause quite the problem when thrown into the garbage disposal, according to the Houston Chronicle, but potato and onion peelings are the worst.
"They're slippery and can form a paste. Things can swell up in a pipe," veteran plumber Tom Pierce told the Chronicle.
Then there's the bathroom situation. Nothing makes a toilet unhappy quite like a household swollen with stuffed extended family members.
Plumbers find everything from false teeth to diamond rings in toilets during the holiday, according to The Chronicle.
Sometimes, homeowners aren't aware of potential plumbing problems until the intensive usage overwhelms the system.
“Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system,” Roto-Rooter representative Paul Abrams said, according to NJToday.net. “Hectic houses full of people and frantic hosts quickly and easily lead to plumbing problems throughout the holiday season.”
According to a Roto-Rooter press release, plumbers often put in 18-hour days to help customers prepare for the holidays. "The day after Thanksgiving is the toughest day of the year to get a day off from work. We'll answer ever call until the work is done and as late as necessary," the release states.
Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips, courtesy of the plumbing company:
- Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.
- Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
- Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don’t wait until it’s full to turn it on.
- For homes hosting weekend guests, it’s a good idea to wait 15 minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
- Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down a toilet. They don’t dissolve and will cause clogs.
- Try to address any plumbing problems before the holiday and before guests arrive. However, in holiday emergencies, don’t hesitate to ask up front about extra holiday service fees.
- As always, know your limits. Often, minor plumbing problems turn into plumbing catastrophes if not handled properly.