Brown Friday: Why It’s Black Friday For Plumbers

Black Friday is for bargains. Brown Friday is for clogged drains.

The day after Thanksgiving is the plumbing industry’s busiest and not for the reason you might think. Plumbers are not spending the day plunging toilets. Rather, it’s a plague of slow kitchen sink drains and broken garbage disposals they’re responding to.

Preparing a holiday feast can do a number to your plumbing system. Upon waking from your food coma, you may find your sink drain clogged with grease or a turkey leg caught in the disposal.

Here’s How to Prevent a Brown Friday Disaster

Dispose of Grease Properly

Grease is one of the biggest culprits of clogged drains this time of year. By grease, we’re talking about cooking oils -- canola, olive, grapeseed and otherwise -- bacon fat and butter. The problem with cooking grease is that it’s only a liquid when it’s hot. It solidifies as it cools, forming a blockage in your drain.

Instead of washing it down your sink, pour oil into a container, wait for it to cool, and throw it in the trash. Be sure the container is sealable because grease in your garbage will attract pests. A plastic bottle with a twist cap works well.

Watch What You Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Just because the garbage disposal can grind it up, that doesn’t mean it should go down your drain. Potatoes and potato peels are especially bad. As a starch, potatoes will make a sticky mess in your drain. Bones are also a big no-no. They’ll either get caught in the impeller or dull the blades. Toss potatoes and bones in your compost pile.

Your garbage disposal will no doubt get a workout during Thanksgiving. Follow these steps to banish disposal odors and keep the blades clean.

  • With the disposal off, pour ice cubes down drain followed by one tablespoon of baking soda, several lemon slices and a teaspoon of bleach. Add more ice cubes.
  • Turn on the disposal without running the faucet until you hear the grinding stop.
  • Keep the unit on while flushing with cold water for 30 seconds.

Bottom line: We hope you have a joyful Thanksgiving free of plumbing issues. If, however, you require the help of a plumber, turn to the pros at Mark Johnson Plumbing. To schedule your appointment, call (318) 257-6167.