Nov. 25, 2010 -- Thanksgiving feasts may taste good at the dinner table, but once everyone has had their fill of turkey and stuffing those delicious dishes can wreak havoc with the kitchen sink.
According to Roto-Rooter, a national plumbing and drainage service, the day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for residential plumbers.
Incoming calls to the company inquiring about clearing out the kitchen sink alone spike more than 50 percent above the average Friday, the company said. Over the four-day weekend, call volume increases by 21 percent.
"When you think about Thanksgiving, everyone's home, everyone's basically eating at home," said Tony D'Alessandro, general manager for the Roto Rooter branch in Farmingdale, N.Y. "Between Thanksgiving and that Friday morning, we see a surge in volume of calls."
Plumbing Company Says Calls for Help Double After Thanksgiving
On a typical Friday, D'Alessandro's branch receives about 100 to 125 calls, but the Friday after Thanksgiving, it will receive 250 to even 300 calls for help.
They've seen all kinds of objects get stuck in the kitchen sink, D'Alessandro said, including kids' toys, pens, household objects and engagement rings.
Around Thanksgiving, turkey bones feature high on the list of clogged sink culprits, he said.
The holiday season can get especially busy, as family and friends from far-flung places gather and everyone gets caught up in festivities and food. But D'Alessandro urges people to exercise caution in the kitchen.
"It's all common sense, but we don't always think about it," he said.
For a few top tips on keeping your drains unclogged, click on to the next page.
Plumbers' Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Sink Clear
Don't pour cooking oils or fats down the drain. D'Alessandro said they build up in the pipes like "clogged arteries." Wipe off greasy plates and pots with paper towels and then throw away the towels.
Stringy, fibrous waste also can tie up a drain and garbage disposal. Avoid putting potato peels, poultry skins and celery, for example, in the disposal.
When you put food in the garbage disposal, make sure it's already running. Don't turn it on after it's already full.
If you're hosting friends and family for the weekend, wait 10 minutes between showers to give slow drains sufficient time to clear.
Cotton balls, hair and facial scrubs never should be flushed down the toilet because they can't dissolve. If lots of small children will be running around, lock up the cabinets and keep an eye on the kids so they don't try to flush inappropriate objects.
If you have a problematic drain, take care of it before guests arrive for the holidays. Roto-Rooter says it often gets calls from people who had partially clogged drains to begin with that went unnoticed until new arrivals overwhelmed the system.