Brown Friday? You have your colors mixed up!” Unfortunately, we don’t. While the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of some serious holiday shopping for millions of people, you most likely won’t see your plumber out and about at 4 o’clock in the morning. Black Friday, known as “Brown Friday” to the plumbing community, is the single busiest day of the entire year for plumbers nationwide. With all of the extra people stuffed into homes and the various dishes of food and plates full of grease being tossed around, catastrophe is just lurking around the corner waiting to strike.

Don’t join the emergency plumbing service waiting list this year! Instead, make sure food is disposed of properly and your bathroom is equipped with a plunger that you know how to use. Here are some tips to help you make it through Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays without unpleasant interruptions. You don’t want to spoil a great time with friends and family by having to call your plumber in a state of hysteria.

Common Thanksgiving Plumbing Problems

Many problems come about during Thanksgiving due to pipes that are already partially clogged before the big day. The host just doesn’t know it. To make sure your pipes are clear and ready to take on whatever you throw at it, ask your plumber to pay you a visit and check on your plumbing system. He can iron out and problems that currently exist so your pipes are ready.

Clogged Kitchen Sinks & Broken Garbage Disposals

Some people are under the impression that they can stick anything (you’d be surprised) into the garbage disposal. DO NOT put fat, oil, grease, bones, poultry skins, potato peels, celery, or fruit down your kitchen drain. These items can’t be broken down properly and may clog your sink or break your garbage disposal. Throw as many leftovers into the trash or a compost bucket instead.

When you do use your garbage disposal, run water the entire time and for a few seconds after you turn the disposal off. Don’t wait until its full to run it. Run it by putting a little bit of food down it at a time. If you think you may have a blockage or something is wrong with your disposal, do not run your dishwasher. This will only worsen the problem; the dishwasher discharges into the disposal.

Clogged or Overflowing Toilets

With extra people in your house, it’s common for toilets to get backed up. Be careful not to stick anything inappropriate into the toilet such as baby wipes, tissues, cotton balls, hair, etc. Make sure everyone in your home knows this as well. Know where the emergency shutoff valve is located near your toilet and how to turn it off if need be. If the toilet looks like its about to overflow or begins to overflow, you’ll need to know exactly what to do quickly. Remember righty tighty (close), lefty loosey (open). Twist the shutoff valve all the way to the right, and then open the lid on the back of the toilet. Reach inside and plug the drain with the float to keep the water left in the tank from draining out into the toilet bowl.

Broken or Unattached Toilet Flapper Valve and Lift Chain

Have you ever reached to flush the toilet and noticed the handle was really easy to push down and when you did, nothing happened? This is a common problem and easy to fix. Simply open the lid on the back of the toilet, and examine the chain connected to the flusher and the rubber flapper inside. If the chain has unattached itself, simply reattach it and it should flush properly again. If the chain actually broke, you’ll have to install a new one (or have a plumber do it for you).


Tell everyone in your household to wait at least 10 minutes in between showering so your drains have enough time to recover each time. If too many people shower at the same time, your plumbing system could get backed up.