CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Elias Villalobos is a master plumber with Neff's Plumbing, based in Alice, Texas, and he's seen his share of plumbing disasters. When he walked into reporter Nora Perez' kitchen, he spotted a problem.
"I saw this little cap, off a milk or water bottle [next to the sink]... you dump it in there, and it goes down your disposal. Of course, this will not grind up, it's going to jam."
He also talked about food scraps ending up in the sink, a big problem during the busy days of cooking and baking over the holiday season. In particular, he mentioned why plumbers love celery. "Celery is the plumber's best friend," he joked, "because of all the fibers in there. You just grind them up, and they become like a paste. If you don't run water it will stay under there, and then you're going to have an emergency."
In the next few weeks it will be hard to keep track of who is in your kitchen and what ends up in your sink. But you can always call for help.
"Unfortunately, you have lots of visitors. You have grandma and Aunt Betsy, and they want to help. But they dump a lot of stuff in there, and it causes clogs, so plumbers are very busy this time of year."
A final piece of advice: standing water clogs call for professional help. Avoid using chemical liquid drain products. When those acid-based items hit solid clogs, they can back up and cause serious injury to you and/or your family.