Friday, November 23, 2007

Why Are Plumbers Scrambling on Black Friday?

Pound360 is on location in Palm Springs for Thanksgiving and on Black Friday, a traditional retail shopping frenzy, I saw this teaser on the front page of The Desert Sun: “Black Friday: A big day for plumbers, too.”

Next to the teaser was a picture of a toilet, so my mind immediately jumped to the obvious. But it’s not what you think. It’s not what the graphic implies. Its kitchen sinks that are driving an expected 17,000 frantic calls to Roto-Rooter on Black Friday.

Frantic? Referring to the calls, said a Roto-Rooter rep, “It sounds like they’re calling 911.”

The article couldn’t be found at the Desert Sun’s website (for shame!), but
we tracked it down at The Buffalo News.

Roto-Rooter said service calls jump 50 percent and drive an extra $500,000 in revenue. The prime culprit? Grease. “Cooking grease will definitely clog pipes -- whether you flush the sink with hot water or cold,” according to
a report at Delaware’s News Journal.

But there are other drain-killers, too: “celery, potato peels, poultry skins and bones, pasta, all the starchy stuff,” Roto Rooter told the Buffalo News.

Rice and pasta can be especially bad since it expands in water.

After a bit of searching, I did find mention of toilet-related woes
at the Seattle Times. According to one plumber, “Too many people using the bathroom and flushing the toilets can aggravate an already slow drain, causing a blockage in the main sewer.”

Advice for avoiding a call to the plumber? Enzymes and common sense. From the News Journal: “regular maintenance with bioenzyme solutions is the secret, plumbers said. That and an avoidance of sheer idiocy.”

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.