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Black Friday Also Big For Plumbers

Michael Parker, whose father was a plumber, has been plumbing for 27 years.

Michael Parker, whose father was a plumber, has been plumbing for 27 years. Photo: Tanner Latham Post Thanksgiving shoppers are out in force, and so are the city's plumbers. Think about it: All the extra holiday guests, and extra cooking. And all the extra... stuff... poured down the kitchen sink. Would you believe that Black Friday is the single busiest day for plumbers at Roto Rooter? Michael Parker has been a plumber 27 years and a technician for Roto Rooter this past year. Calls to Roto Rooter increase 50% the day after Thanksgiving. Parker says it's all the holiday visitors and the food to feed them. "You got people coming in, and when they start cooking, they're gonna stop up sinks, main lines, you're gonna have more calls on stuff like that," he says. "More call volume coming into the shop." He says most of the time, it's people sticking stuff down the drain. "Carrots. We have a lot of trouble with carrots, potato peelings, celery, onions," says Parker. "They'll put about anything in the world down a garbage disposal. Get plumbers together and they start telling war stories about what they've found clogging pipes. Listen to Roto-Rooter technicians Michael Parker and John Turpin discuss the odd things they've fished out of homeowner sink drains and toilets. Grease is a big problem as well, especially for the utility department. It stops up the sewer pipes that run beneath the streets and causes more than half of the overflows. Parker threads a flexible plumber's snake 50 feet up the line beneath a kitchen sink on his first Black Friday call of the day. His payoff is a plumber's perfect moment. "Oh yeah," he says. "When you see that tornado spiral, it's clear. 100 percent clear. It goes down. See it spiraling?" Michael looks for that tornado spiral to let him know the pipes are clear. Photo: Tanner Latham