The day after Christmas, a plumber's worst nightmare

Scott Smith, Service Manager at Strickland Plumbing
Scott Smith, Service Manager at Strickland Plumbing

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.

They fix our leaks and un-clog our sinks and toilets. The plumbers at Strickland Plumbing in Lufkin work long, hard hours taking on the sometimes not so pleasant tasks of home repairs.

They don't mind the work, on an average day. Working the day after a holiday is often a much different story.

Scott Smith, service manager at Strickland Plumbing, knows what he signed up for. Navigating through the grime and the grit to unblock our drains and toilets-- it's all in the day of a life of a plumber.

"It's pretty much one of the dirtiest jobs you can get into," said Smith.

On an average day, a small crew takes on 10 to 15 jobs. The day after Christmas—it's a one man shop.

"After the holiday, he's got them all. So he ends up working steadily. Into the night usually," said Smith, who has been there. He refers to this day as a plumber's worst nightmare.

"Your sink's stopped up. Your disposal doesn't work. Your toilet's stopped up. Your whole house is stopped up," said Smith. "It turns into a mess."

With families in town for the holiday, the do-it-yourself attitude often comes into play.

"Sons, daughters, they are in. Usually the sons say, okay dad, I can fix this. They start. Well they can't and then the next one gets involved and then the next one. Next thing you know it's all just destroyed," described Smith.

He says a handful of these problems begin with shoving things down the sink that just don't belong.

"Rice, bones, lettuce…even entire fish heads." And most commonly found, "Grease, lots of grease," said Smith. "You pour the grease down the sink, it gets in the cold line, it turns into a solid form and it's stopped up."

The moral of the story is, "just use your common sense," said Smith.

Family bonding time is important, but for the "Mr." and "Ms." fix-its' out there, Smith reminds you, it's okay to ask for help.

"Just call. You'll save yourself time and money."

Smith wants to remind people, after finishing those holiday leftovers, there's a lot left on your doesn't go down the drain. He says pasta, lettuce, celery, bones, grease, and anything solid will create problems.

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