Here's How to Avoid Brown Friday Plumbing Disasters

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What You'll Need
Drain snake
Aluminum foil
Tin can
What You'll Need
Drain snake
Aluminum foil
Tin can

It's the almost most wonderful time of year again for plumbers All Over America—Brown Friday. If you're not guessing from context clues, Brown Friday is the less-than-appealing term used to describe the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

It's the busiest time of the year for plumbers. Now, it’s not just toilets that need a little help on Brown Friday, but if you don't want to pay for a plumber to the brown Friday, there are a few things that you can do to keep your leftovers from becoming a pipe problem.

Put Most Food Scraps in the Trash

Firstly, you want to protect your drains. Your sink kitchen drains and your bathroom drains. In the kitchen, it can be really tempting to just throw your leftovers down the disposal.

But especially in an older home, that's not a great idea. Why? Because most disposals aren't equipped your handle that many food scraps. Food scraps can quickly clog and break your drain and disposal.

fork scraping plate of beans into trash

Rinse With Cold Water

What few food scraps you do put down your kitchen sink drain, you need to use cold water with. Because of the high-fat content in traditional Thanksgiving meals, warm water breaks down the fat as you dispose of it, but then the fat re-congeals further down the pipes leaving you with a big block.

Cool water keeps the fat together and breaks it up appropriately as it goes down the disposal and through your drains. Using cold water significantly decreases your need for a drain snake post-Thanksgiving dinner.

Compost What You Can

If you decide to dispose of your food disposal, make sure to pick through everything and remove corn cobs, bones, 6 skins from potatoes, or any vegetable peels. A lot of these things work really well in a compost pile, so if you haven't started one—now might be a great time to reduce waste and reuse your scraps in an eco-friendly way.

Keep Grease Out of Your Drains

During meal prep, it's understandable that you'll need to use your sink and disposal a little bit in the kitchen. That being said, you really want to protect your drain because any grease that gets down the drain is a headache waiting to happen. Hot grease easily slides down the drain causing clogs and all sorts of problems down the road.

Even if your drain doesn't clog right away, it's only a matter of time before you got an overflowing sink on your hands because you’ve got grease stuck in your pipes. So, line your sink, and dispose of your fat in an excess tin can that you can throw it in the trash.

You Guest It

Holiday guests are the second biggest culprit when it comes to Brown Friday. With an increased number of shower users and toilet users in your home, there are bound to be a few issues if you don't take precautions.

Strain Your Drains

drain strainer in kitchen sink

We recommend using a drain strainer in all showers in your house throughout the holiday season, but especially when you have guests. Drain strainers will catch stray hair, bobby pins, and rubber bands before these pesky drain cloggers make their way down the pipes.

Drain strainers are very inexpensive and can be purchased at most big-box stores or online.

Watch Young Kids

If you have young guests staying with you this Thanksgiving, or kids of your own, now is also a good time to remind them about drain and toilet safety. Believe it or not, lots of brown Friday calls come in because some kid flushed something they weren’t supposed to down the toilet.

Having a simple chat beforehand and reminding kids that toilets are only for toilet things... can save you a headache and an expensive plumbing bill on Brown Friday.

Consider a Note for Adults

Adult guest sometimes needs reminders too. Make sure that everybody knows that your drains and toilet aren't equipped to handle things like Q-tips, big wads of toilet paper, feminine products, or cotton balls. That’s what trash cans are for.

Stock Plumbing Supplies

Now, things happen. Sometimes someone has an accident or toilets get clogged in the traditional sense, but there's a solution for that. Have plumbing supplies on hand.

No one wants to run to the store on Thanksgiving looking for a plunger for a drain snake. So make sure that you have those things on hand well before you set the table for your Thanksgiving feast.