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Thanksgiving dinners create busy days for plumbers

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HERRIN (WSIL)---The Friday after Thanksgiving is expected to be one of the busier days for plumbers.

What not to put down the drain

Part of the problem is that the term "garbage disposal" is actually very misleading.

The garbage disposal was designed to get rid of small bits of food on plates after they have already been cleaned off in the trash.

However, many people often dump everything right into the sink and hope it goes down and that's when the professionals have to come in.

According to Thad Ellet of Thad Ellet Plumbing, they will see a 25% increase in calls the Friday after Thanksgiving.

This is because the items that cause the most blockages, come from the ingredients in traditional Thanksgiving foods. Egg shells, grease, fats and oils, small bones, and peels from potatoes and vegetables cause the most blockages.

And if you do end up having a blockage, do not pour drain cleaning chemicals down your pipes.

"So if I can stress anything, if a customer does have a stoppage, you can try whatever you normally do to try and get it before you have to call a professional. But if you know in the back of your head that you're going to need to call a professional, don't put any drain cleaning chemicals down. And drain cleaning chemicals are preventative maintenance. So if you have a blockage, it's not going to clear that blockage," said Ellet.

If you do end up putting chemicals down your drain, you will be advised on how to best dilute the chemical solution.

Now what should you put down your garbage disposal?

Ellet said you should always run cold water to solidify any fats or oils that got stuck in the pipes. And in order to clean your blades, you can stick citrus peels or even ice cubes down the drain.

COVID-19 Problems

As long as you don't put any of the problem items down your drain, you shouldn't have any issues.

If you do end up having to call in the professionals, plumbers at Thad Ellet Plumbing are taking many precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible.

But they first must assess the situation.

"Our customers have been really good about being honest. If they've been feeling bad, or if they're awaiting test results, and we've had some customers that are. And that's when we have to make those decisions," said Ellet. "We kinda triage the situation. Is this an emergency case, or is this something that can wait?"

Because the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for plumbers, don't be surprised if they have to make multiple visits in a day.

Just remember to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask if you end up needing their services.

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Madeline Parker

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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