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Fall with John the Plumber

Sept. 23 is the official first day of fall. It's a date that marks when the sun is exactly above the equator and day and night are of equal length.

For those less interested in astronomy, fall signifies the beginning of the holiday season. For plumbers it means lots of panicked customers needing help with clogged sinks and toilets, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

John Nelson, owner of John the Plumber, is no stranger to these calls.

"Around the shop we don't call the day after Thanksgiving "Black Friday." We call it "Brown Friday" due to all the clogged sinks and backed up sewer or septic systems," he says. "The most common thing we see is septic systems being overloaded due to excess use from extra guests followed by calls for clogged sewage lines. Less common, but it still happens, is clogged sinks."

If you want to avoid plumbing emergencies during the fall/holiday season, John has a few suggestions.

"First, completely remove your garbage disposal and make sure everyone knows that it's gone. Ok, that's a joke," he laughs, "but not completely. The name 'garbage' disposal misleads people. They put things down it that belong in the garbage can, not the disposal. During the holidays, the biggest culprit is potato peels. Potatoes have a lot of starch which makes them sticky when wet. Same with left over rice. Put all peels and table scraps in the garbage can."

Septic issues can be mitigated by being conscious of water use.

"Many folks, in preparation for guests, will do lots of cleaning which includes laundry in the days just before the holiday," he explains. "Extra guests mean more showers and toilets flushing. Cooking large meals result in more dishes being washed. All of this extra water can overload their septic system. To sidestep these issues, start doing laundry the week before, doing a load or two a day rather than one big laundry day. When washing dishes be very conscientious about water use. Ask guests to keep their showers short."

Sometimes, despite taking precautionary steps, plumbing issues will still arise. The crew at John the Plumber will be there for you. While they are technically closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day, John is usually personally available for emergencies. Just call the office number of (661) 823-8031 or (760) 373-7050 and you'll get his personal cell phone number.