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Brown Friday: Why Plumbers Are Busy the Day After Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a holiday that many Americans look forward to every year. It is a time when people travel back home to spend time with family and, of course, eat delicious homemade food.

It is not Thanksgiving if there is no mountain of food served on the dinner table. No diet can survive the holiday. In fact, it is common for Americans to gain one to three pounds after coming home from Thanksgiving. People can consume up to 3,500 calories a day, loading up on carbohydrates, meats, and desserts throughout the weekend.

That is why, the day after, plumbers across the United States become very busy.

The Brown Friday

For most, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, a day for significant sales in retail stores both online and offline. It is a shopping holiday where consumers can buy almost anything at a huge discount. However, you would not find your plumber lining up and elbowing the crowds at Best Buy or Target.

They will be hard at work in homes fixing the damage that Thanksgiving and its food left behind.

Black Friday is known to the industry as Brown Friday, the day when many kitchens and bathrooms become unusable. Many homeowners had to call a plumber to address a clogged drain or toilet. The sudden increase of people at home, as well as the large amounts of food being consumed, is putting pressure on the plumbing.

According to one plumber, requests for repairs reach the upper double digits during and days after a holiday. Another plumber revealed that they are often overwhelmed after Thanksgiving.

Many homeowners, meanwhile, sometimes cannot find a plumber who can immediately come to their homes because the waiting list has grown so long after the holidays.

clogged pipes

The Main Causes of Clogged Pipes

But many of these calls can be avoided if people were more mindful of how they use their kitchen sinks and toilets. The top reason why toilets clog, according to plumbers, is flushing paper. Homes with older plumbing usually have a weaker water flow and cannot push the waste down the pipes. Over time, the amount of paper in the pipes accumulates and causes clogging. During Thanksgiving, multiple people are using the toilet and flushing paper, driving buildup more quickly.

However, even newer pipes are at risk of clogging, especially when people within the household use the wrong paper. Flushable toilet paper is not actually flushable. They cause clogging a lot of the time, causing sewer to back up. Thick, plush, quilted paper is also bad for plumbing and will cause clogging later on. These options are more expensive, and they cause even more expenses after use.

When it comes to sinks, the problem often involves grease. When people throw grease into the sink after dinner, it will create a buildup that will prevent water from draining. The grease, fat, and oil from your dinner mix with chemicals in the sewer that block the pipes.

It happens so often, too. In one review, the buildup of grease, fat, and oil caused 47 percent of about 36,000 sewer overflows across the U.S.

A fatberg is the fat that attaches to the ceiling of the pipes and forms structures that resemble stalactites. A fatberg can get as big as a bus. Years ago, 17-tonne fatberg was found in pipes in the United Kingdom. A team had to go down and use a power washer to get rid of the fatberg. It took them weeks to clear all the fat that solidified in the fat.

Prevention Is Key

It is better to prevent the worst than spend the remaining days of the holiday season looking for a plumber. Try to make cleaning the drains part of Thanksgiving preparation. You can take a solution made of baking soda and vinegar to clear the drains and pipes of any grease.

After dinner, it is also better if households throw food scraps in the trash can or compost rather than let it flow down the sink. Another suggestion is to freeze grease before dumping it onto the garbage disposal.

Plumbers also recommend using septic-safe toilet paper. Look for brands that have the septic-safe certification from the National Sanitation Foundation. Also, homeowners can save their plumbing and the planet by buying toilet paper that uses recycled materials. Brands that use higher post-consumer fiber content are better for your plumbing.

The holidays should be fun. It is an opportunity for people to reconnect with loved ones who they do not see every day. However, clogged sinks and toilets can ruin holiday fun.

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