Beware of Brown Friday: Plumbers’ busiest day of the year

Several factors contribute to the issue. Large gatherings, meal preparation, and kitchen cleanup overload sinks and disposals.
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:12 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:57 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Plumbers say if you’re not careful with what you put down your sink disposal, your Black Friday could easily turn into a ‘Brown Friday’.

The day after Thanksgiving is usually the busiest day of the year for plumbing and drain service providers.

Several factors contribute to the issue. Large gatherings, meal preparation, and kitchen cleanup overload sinks and disposals.

“Families get together cook a lot of food and do a lot of dishes and things lined up down the garbage disposal that maybe shouldn’t be and clog up the drains,” Greg Van Lanen, a Plumbing instructor with the Fox Valley Technical College said.

Van Lanen said you can avoid these issues by filtering what you put down the sink.

“Most people think they have garbage disposals think they can put absolutely everything in it and not think, you know, and that’s totally not the case. It’s not meant for the big stuff. It’s just your common everyday use of a little bit of food,” Van Lanen said.

He suggests that anytime you put something down the sink, you run a lot of water.

“So you really want to run a lot of water, no water, water, water, and not Drano or anything like that. That’s not gonna help things down the drain. You need water. More water than you’d think,” he said.

Post-meal waste loads up toilets and sewers, as well creating lots of work for plumbers. Usually because of too much toilet paper or the overuse of a toilet that isn’t regularly used.

Van Lanen said no matter what the issue, you should take care of it right away.

“If you feel comfortable suit you can do grab plunger, grab the toilet water joinable rent a snake, give it a shot. If you can’t get more than happy to come on and help you. Tell you what you did wrong or things like that,” he said.

To avoid plumbing and drain trouble over Thanksgiving weekend, follow these tips:

  • Never pour grease, turkey drippings, or cooking oil down drains. They solidify in pipes and choke drains.
  • Don’t put potato peels, poultry skins, bones, rice, or pasta down the garbage disposal. Disposals can handle small quantities of scraps, but most food should go into the trash can or compost pile.
  • Make sure the disposal and water is running when you add food scraps.
  • Don’t flush wet wipes down toilets. Most won’t dissolve .
  • Place a plunger in guest bathrooms to save your guests the embarrassment of asking for one.

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