The Real Terror Lurking in Your Drain This Halloween: Pumpkin Guts

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The plumbers from Roto-Rooter caution not to throw your gooey pumpkin guts down the drain. (JD Hancock)

It's that time of year, when everyone is posting all kinds of cute photos from the pumpkin patch online. According to statistics from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, farmers here harvest upward of 150 million pounds of pumpkins each year. That makes California the nation’s top pumpkin producer.

That’s a lot of jack-o'-lanterns. And a lot of gooey pumpkin guts to dispose of.  But, whatever you do -- don’t put them down the drain.  

"It starts about a week and a half before Halloween. We start hearing about, yeah, somebody did it again," said Paul Abrams, of the Roto-Rooter plumbing company.

"Pumpkin pulp is kind of like Mother Nature’s super glue. The stuff really sticks to pipes, and it sticks to every part of the garbage disposal," he said.

Abrams said that after pumpkin innards dry and harden inside plumbing, over-the-counter drain cleaners won't do the trick. Depending on the size of the clog, plumbers may have to cut out the blockage with specialized blades or even replace the pipes.

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The repair can cost hundreds of dollars. That’ll put a frown on your jack-o'-lantern -- so think about putting those pumpkin guts in the trash or compost instead.