Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, out of the pan and into the fire! I've got three days – and the first has ended – to write stories for the next two editions as I'm taking some time off.

I'd like to share with you some of the stuff that clogs up my in-box:

Holiday Weekend is Busiest of the Year For Plumbers
Cincinnati, OH- Reporters are welcome to join our plumbers on the job. Please call to make arrangements.

The Thanksgiving weekend is anything but a holiday for plumbing and drain cleaning professionals who often sacrifice family time for a bigger paycheck.

Thanksgiving feasts are responsible for so many kitchen sink and sewer clogs that the day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for Roto-Rooter, the nation's largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services.

Most Americans take part in Thanksgiving celebrations with eleven or more people. Big holiday meals require a busy kitchen, meaning lots of grease and food go down the kitchen drain into the garbage disposal. Holiday guests require extra showers, wash cycles and toilet flushes. "Often, a house already has partially clogged drainpipes that aren't noticeable until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system," said Paul Abrams, a spokesman for Roto-Rooter.

Incoming calls to Roto-Rooter should jump just under 50% over an average Friday. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend represents a 21% increase above any other Thursday through Sunday period of the year. Added revenue will likely approach a million dollars for Friday alone. It is unclear whether the economic slowdown will impact emergency calls this year.

By following these recommendations, Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend:

Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.

No stringy, fibrous waste in the garbage disposal (poultry skins, celery, fruit potato peels). Disposals can't sufficiently grind these items.

Make sure disposal is running when you put food into it. Don't wait until it's full to turn on.

Wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.

Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down a toilet. They don't dissolve and they cause clogs.

If you need a plumber, call before the holidays to avoid delays and holiday service charges.

Roto-Rooter was established in 1935 and operates businesses in 115 company-owned territories and 500 independent franchise territories serving approximately 91 percent of the U.S. population and 55% of the Canadian population.

That's front page stuff!

I recently received an e-mail from some publicity guru advising people that this approach – sending out ads disguised as stories – was the way companies were going to beat out hard economic times. Advertising, the e-mail advised, wasn't enough and it cost money. This technique was far less costly.

And far less effective. If Roto-Roooter had taken out an ad they would have been assured of someone seeing their message. This approach is a definite crap shoot.

But I did learn that having company can out a strain on my plumbing. I'll just rent a Sani-Kan and put in on the back porch for the holidays!

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