Photo By Roman Samborskyi at Shutterstock
Holiday shopping season kicks off with Black Friday sales events at your favorite stores the day after Thanksgiving, but your plumber won’t be at your local San Antonio, TX mall, at least not to shop. That’s because Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers, is known as Brown Friday in plumbing circles—and it is the single busiest day of your plumber’s year. Yes, while you’re out chasing bargains and hitting the big sales, your plumber will be handling frantic calls for help for a myriad of plumbing issues, mainly caused by clogs, that tend to occur with frequency the day after Thanksgiving.
Like Clockwork Each Year
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we see it every year, just like clockwork. Calls for a plumber actually see an uptick that begins early in Thanksgiving week. Usually, this is due to homeowners expecting company for the holiday looking to make some sort of small plumbing repair before guests arrive—usually that they’ve put off for a few weeks or longer. They’re smart to do so if they sense plumbing trouble brewing—who’d want to be stuck with a houseful of people under the roof and non-functioning plumbing? Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week are usually made up of this type of call, keeping our plumbers busy.
Fast-forward to the Friday following Thanksgiving. This is your black Friday, but our Brown Friday. Our staff brews a giant pot of coffee and gets set to field the rapid succession of calls from San Antonio homeowners in need of a plumber. The main culprits we see on Brown Friday include stopped up or clogged toilets, main sewer clogs, clogged kitchen sinks and jammed-up garbage disposals.
Staving Off a Problem
Hosting the entire family for Thanksgiving can be a way to make real memories, but it can also put a strain on your home’s plumbing system. And while all plumbers love the extra attention they get on Brown Friday, there are a few recommendations for homeowners to make sure that plumbing problems do not put a damper on your holiday gathering or Black Friday shopping plans.
Avoid seeing the bluefrog Plumbing + Drain crew at your door for post-Thanksgiving repairs by:
- Putting leftovers where they belong. While it may be faster and easier to throw leftover food down your drain, it can cause costly clogs. Leftovers should go in the compost pile or the trash. If you opt for feeding them through the disposal, feed the waste from your dinner or food prep gradually, as this prevents overload of your system. Under no circumstances should you poor cooking oil, shortening or other fats into the drain, since they can cause clogs in your pipes faster than you can say “gobble gobble.”
- Turning on the garbage disposal before use. Don’t put food waste into the disposal before turning it on, and be certain to turn the water on from the faucet before adding food. This fills the drain with water, which helps the disposal get rid of the food you’re throwing away more efficiently, and with a lessened chance of clogs. And remember your garbage disposal can only handle so much. It’s not a trash can. Items like carrots, potatoes, eggshells, bones and coffee grinds are notoriously difficult to grind up, and can, therefore, lead to blockages that necessitate a plumbing companies help.
- Cleaning your disposal regularly. Pour just a small amount of dish detergent into your disposal and run the cold water for a moment to help clean the disposal. Freshen the smell of the disposal by tossing in a few slices of lemon.
- Using a sink strainer. Preventing food from dirty dishes from finding its way down your drain is easiest with a sink strainer in place. The strainer also lets the water run while keeping food waste out, and then when you’re finished washing dishes, it has all waste corralled together for easy disposal.
- Allowing 10 minutes minimum between showers. Extra guests in the home can put a strain on your plumbing and your water heater. If you’re having guests overnight, be sure to have them wait 10 minutes at least between showers. This gives hair that moves through your pipes time to find its way out into the sewer instead of clogging up a pipe and causes a backflow. If possible, install a strainer over your drain that keeps hair out without impeding water from flowing out of the shower floor or tub.
- Reminding overnight guests not to flush sanitary napkins, wipes, feminine products or paper towels down the toilet.
- Avoiding DIY fixes. Don’t be tempted to choose your Thanksgiving holiday as a time to start learning about DIY plumbing options. While using a plunger on a clogged toilet or adding some drain clearing product to your sink is okay, it’s best to reach out to a licensed plumbing company who understands your system inside and out so that you can get to the real root of the problem. Sometimes a DIY fix can just make the situation worse and end up costing you more in the long run. Err on the side of caution and make that call to your bluefrog plumber.
A Pre-Holiday Checkup for Your Plumbing
In addition to following these steps, it’s not a bad idea to have your plumbing system checked out prior to guests’ arriving at your door. With the busy holiday season approaching, it’s an excellent time to make sure that you don’t have any plumbing or drain issues that might necessitate a call to the plumber at the most inopportune of moments—and detracting from all that turkey-eating, football-watching and Christmas shopping. By having bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX, come out to inspect your plumbing, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your home’s plumbing system won’t experience any serious hiccups that can steal from your seasonal fun.