We know it as "John", or the "porcelain God". But whatever you call it, your toilet and the rest of your plumbing lug the extra load during the holidays.
"We see a significant increase. Around the holidays, everyone stays indoors cooks more, throws extra food down the garbage disposal. We stay pretty busy," said Lubbock Roto-Rooter Owner Steve Fuller. Plumbers see a 30% to 40% increase in business from Thanksgiving to the New Year's. That's because of 'relative'-overload.
Gibson Plumbing and Heating Owner Scott Gibson says a standard three bedroom two bathroom home is designed for up to five people to use the plumbing. "Then you have a bunch of people come in for Christmas, you have a Christmas party, when there's 20 to 30 people in there and in the space of a couple of hours, the plumbing gets used a tremendous amount. It over-loads what the plumbing was designed for," says Gibson.
That is something Gibson and his family try to avoid. "In my immediate family there's about 40 people. So whenever we have a big get-together at Christmas or family barbecue, there are 40 people in the house using the plumbing," said Gibson. "A lot of flushing?" asked NewsChannel 11. "Lots of flushing," he responded.
Gibson's parents have six bathrooms, and a house equipped with big enough pipes to handle that many people.
Fuller suggests when the house has cleared of all the company, to run the water in your sink and flush your toilet once a day. "At least a week after they leave make sure everything is through the line. But even it's a bathroom not used very after, still flush it once a month and run the water in the sink," Fuller said.
Water heater failures are problems as well for plumbers. If you're expecting a crowd in your home, plumbers says it is a good idea to call a plumber and get things checked out. Or, they say, you risk the chance of something bad happening with a house full of people.