Just plumb busy

Since food items, such as pumpkin strings and potato skins,
easily clog drains, plumbers are kept busy on Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 25, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:30 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Today will be a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie for Columbia families, and a feast of potato skins, turkey grease and pumpkin strings for Columbia’s drains.

Columbia’s plumbers agree: Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for those in the business of keeping drains unclogged.

“People get frantic,” said Dave Kempker, owner of Benjamin Franklin the Punctual Plumber. “They have a lot of people over and want things fixed right away.”

The combination of houses full of relatives and kitchens full of Thanksgiving fixings often adds up to clog pipes.

Benjamin Franklin the Punctual Plumber has two plumbers on call all day and two on backup in case extra help is necessary, Kempker said.

All those phone calls keep Columbia’s plumbers busy on feast day.

“They work most of the day,” said Roto-Rooter manager Rob Marrone, “but they do have time to eat dinner with their families.”

The perpetrators of pipe problems sometimes offer plumbers culinary rewards for having pulled them away from their families on the holiday.

“I’ve had some great turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie,” Marrone said.

“I always made sure to eat dinner with my family,” Kempker said. “I’ve done it for 18 years. Now that I own the business, I can send the employees out. Our guys are used to it; you just have to be prepared to go out.”

Respecting the limitations of your garbage disposal can help you avoid those unwanted clogs.

“Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid holiday emergencies,” Kempker said. “Have your disposal checked and, if need be, replaced, before your guests arrive.”

This can also help you avoid the extra costs that come with calling in a plumber during the holidays.

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