Shoppers are not the only ones putting in overtime on the day after Thanksgiving. The visiting family members, leftovers, and increased waste can put a strain on pipe systems meaning plumbers also are at their busiest on Black Friday.
“364 days out of the year, about 20 percent of our calls are for drain stoppages,” said Nick Srader, the president of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Dallas. “That goes up to about 60 percent on the Friday after Thanksgiving.”
Srader said plumbers call the day “Brown Friday” because brown water clogs up pipes, especially the garbage disposal where bits and pieces of food often end up. Homes hosting family members are also likely using their showers, toilets and other appliances more than usual, putting an extraordinary burden on their plumbing system.
"Everyone is eating, using the restroom, showering and a lot of things are getting pushed down the garbage disposal that would not normally go down there,” said Srader.
Grease used for cooking in the kitchen solidifies and can cause blockages if disposed of in the garbage disposal or sewer system. Srader said large particles of food or stringy vegetables should be disposed of in the garbage rather than the plumbing system. Running water for several seconds before and after using the disposal can also help prevent clogs.
A drain stoppage could cost anywhere between $150 and $300 to fix.
With the holidays to follow in December along with incoming cold weather, Srader recommends checking to make sure your pipes are prepared for the increased burden.
“We like people to be able to spend money on Black Friday shopping instead of Brown Friday shopping.”