There’s nothing quite like the unique stress of inviting family or guests over to your home during the holidays–but what about when daily life goes awry through preventable home issues? Perhaps none is so common (and avoidable) than the Thanksgiving plumbing emergency. Inviting additional people into your home can put extra stress on your pipes–particularly in old or historic homes or for folks who do not regularly have their pipes inspected or maintained. Thankfully, we’ve put together this guide for Thanksgiving plumbing tips, including how to avoid holiday plumbing disasters–so you can prep for the holidays and kick back with the family instead of worrying about a holiday crisis. Let’s get into the nitty gritty and discuss Brown Friday–also known as the day after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday Is the Biggest Day for What Trade Profession?
Sometimes referred to as “Black Friday” in retail professions, the day after Thanksgiving is a big deal for commerce in general–but it also impacts trade professions. Companies ranging from UPS to your local expert plumbing service can expect increased business due to the passing of this annual holiday. However, the term “Black Friday” is usually relegated to companies selling goods and retail products, whereas “Brown Friday” typically refers to trade businesses.
Brown Friday Meaning: What It Is and How It Affects Plumbers
The day after Thanksgiving is a big deal for plumbers–so much so that they’ve nicknamed the day “Brown Friday.” But before you go conjuring up any disturbing imagery, it’s important to understand that this term primarily revolves around kitchen plumbing emergencies, not sewage, as Thanksgiving is a holiday notorious for being food-centered. In fact, Brown Friday is widely recognized as the busiest day of the year for plumbers (via PR Newswire)–particularly emergency plumbing services. This is why it is crucial to have a working relationship with a plumber you trust before an accident takes place. A Brevard County plumbing service like Certified Plumbing will help you get your pipes flowing again so you can get back to your favorite holiday traditions.
Why Is the Day After Thanksgiving a Holiday?
Black Friday is a state holiday recognized in over 20 U.S. states, but it is not a federally recognized holiday (from Federal Times). However, this day serves as a reminder that the season of gift-giving is officially imminent, encouraging folks to get their holiday shopping out of the way through the merit of enticing deals and discounts.
How to Skip the Day After Thanksgiving Plumbing Emergency
You don’t have to fall victim to the day after Thanksgiving plumbing emergency! In fact, there are ample ways the average homeowner can prepare. Here are some of the best practices for avoiding a “clog” in the holiday festivities.
- Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain
One of the most common problems associated with Brown Friday is cooking oil mismanagement. One of the best ways you can take care of your plumbing as a homeowner is proper disposal of grease. That means taking care not to flush grease down the drain–even if you use hot running water as you pour it.
Why You Shouldn’t Pour Grease Down the Drain
While it may seem like pouring grease down the drain is an “out of sight, out of mind” type of problem-solving, this is not at all true in the context of plumbing. Your leftover cooking oil may go away for the moment as you flush it down the drain with hot water, but this just pushes the fats deep into the plumbing, where they cool and then coagulate. As this occurs, blockages accumulate, causing everything from clogged drains to septic issues. This can happen gradually over time or all at once, depending on the circumstances–though it can occur with little to no warning. This is why homeowners should take great care when it comes to disposing of their cooking fats and oils.
Common Fats Homeowners Accidentally Pour Down the Drain
You may think pouring a little fat down the drain is no big deal, but this can cause everything from residential plumbing issues to municipal problems, such as sewage blockages (colloquially referred to as “fatbergs”). Some common household oils to avoid flushing down the drain include:
- Bacon grease
- Melted butter
- Olive oil, coconut oil, and other cooking oils
- Rendered fats from cooked meats
- Dressings or cream-based sauces
As a general rule, any animal fats are a no-go when it comes to your kitchen sink. For best results, mop up any cooking oils with a paper towel and throw them in the trash can–do not flush them down your drain! (For more on how to properly dispose of grease, check out our recent article on the topic!)
- Prep Plumbing for Family and Guests
One easy way to mitigate a potential Thanksgiving plumbing emergency is to prepare for your company in advance. This can look like everything from having a conversation with your trustworthy local plumber to ensuring your bathrooms are well-stocked with appropriate, flushable materials. Here are some simple ways to prepare your residential plumbing for family and guests during the holidays!
Have Plumbing Inspected
Whether you have a persistent plumbing problem like a minor faucet leak or you simply want to avoid an emergency, having a plumber come to your home to do a walkabout can be extremely rewarding for homeowners. Aside from diagnosing existing problems, an experienced plumber will be able to report any potential dangers for your unique circumstances, ranging from the age of your pipes to garbage disposal best practices and other Thanksgiving plumbing tips. Working with a certified plumber eliminates worry and frees up your mental real estate to think about getting the most out of your holiday vacation. Kick back and relax as an experienced plumber assesses your situation for you. Avoid the embarrassment of a potentially unhygienic plumbing issue on a day that should be devoted to family!
Ensure Availability of Proper Disposal for Commonly Mismanaged Hygiene Items
Place an accessible garbage receptacle in each of your bathrooms–particularly your guest bathroom–so guests can properly dispose of trash. Toilets are not meant to be garbage disposals–and clogs can happen. This is particularly common with feminine hygiene products. Do your family a service and provide them with the tools they need to help you keep your house in running order and enjoy a mess-free holiday!
No Flushable Wipes
While the term “flushable wipes” is horribly misleading, so-called flushable wipes–even the biodegradable ones–are not actually flushable. Currently, there are no “flushable wipes” on the market that break down fast enough in the sewage system (let alone your residential plumbing) to avoid creating clogs and blockages. Make sure you set your guests up for success and supply them with plenty of flushable toilet paper. This saves you (and your guest) embarrassment and headache. Remember, these are the only materials that should ever be flushed down the toilet:
In the plumbing industry, these are known as the “Four P’s.”
- Only Put Approved Items Down Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal is a useful, phenomenal addition to most kitchen sinks; however, they are not miracle workers. A garbage disposal is only effective if it is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s direction. For that to be true, homeowners must be vigilant about what gets thrown down the disposal. Here are some common items that often get mistakenly thrown down garbage disposals:
Garbage Disposal Don’ts:
- Vegetable or fruit peels, such as potato or apple
- Egg shells or bones
- Animal protein
- Cooking fats
- Fibrous or starchy foods
- Coffee grounds
- Medicine, paints, or harsh chemicals
- Non-food items
Don’t Let Brown Friday Happen to You!
Let’s face it: the best part about Thanksgiving is the food and the time with family. Why add stress to the festivities with a Thanksgiving plumbing emergency? Fortunately for the average homeowner, many plumbing disasters associated with hosting events are preventable through inspection, regular maintenance, and best practices. By managing your kitchen (and guest bathroom) using these Thanksgiving plumbing tips, you can rest assured that the time with your family will focus on creating lasting memories–not dealing with costly messes.
Is your house guest-ready? Keep your holiday festivities flowing the right way–before you have an emergency on your hands! This not only mitigates costs but also provides you with the peace of mind of knowing you’ve prepared yourself for the most seamless holiday celebration possible.