KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Thanksgiving is a special time of the year where family and friends gather together to eat a big meal.
Sometimes that meal is a little too big, and leaves homes with clogged pipes. David Velez, service manage at Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain in Kalamazoo, said calls jump about 50% compared to an average Friday.
“Today is usually a very busy day for us,” said Velez.
The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for Roto-Rooter plumbers around the nation.
“Most of the business we get the day after Thanksgiving is plugged up kitchen sink lines it’s very, very common,” Velez said.
He said garbage disposals, often a person’s best friend when trying to clean up a kitchen mess, gives people a false sense of security.
“They treat it like a garbage can when it really is only meant for just a few little items that might be on a plate and not to get rid say a whole bucket of macaroni and cheese,” he said.
According to Velez, people forget basic rules when cooking their Thanksgiving dinners, which often means cooking oils and fats are washed down the drain.
“Worst thing you could do is pour any kind of used cooking oils, butter, bacon fat, hamburger grease or anything like that or even of all these turkey grease or residue,” he said.
While it may seem like an easy solution to get rid of grease, pouring it down a kitchen sink can be a nightmare for plumbing.
“They will eventually get into the system, cool off and start solidifying, so you’ll get a drain line that is draining just fine and after repeated pours of grease through that line you’ll notice it will start getting sluggish and eventually it can plug up completely,” Velez said.
It’s an annual problem that leaves thousands of drains around the United States in need of professional help.
Velez said if you do put food down your garbage disposal, make sure you have the water running, which helps move pieces through the pipes.
He also said to give your drains a little regular maintenance to ensure they’re running smoothly.