Brown Friday: What Is It and How Does It Affect You?

Mr Rooter discussing with the customer
Most people know the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, a deals extravaganza, and early Christmas present acquisition rush. For plumbers, the day after Thanksgiving is commonly known as Brown Friday, and it means something a little different.

Brown Friday is traditionally the busiest day of the year for plumbers in America. But the reasons why this day is so busy may not be what you expect.

The Real Causes of Brown Friday

Now, before you send your mind to the gutter, you should know that Brown Friday, despite the cheeky name, doesn’t have much to do with what you’re probably imagining. Instead, it has a lot more to do with the meal itself.

Rather than clogs in the restroom, the most common plumbing call on Brown Friday is to fix a kitchen sink clog. A typical Thanksgiving dinner puts a far greater demand on your kitchen sink than it receives on a normal day. To make things worse, the type of food that typically gets made during Thanksgiving is exceptional at clogging sinks.

Here are just a few examples of how Thanksgiving dinners wreak havoc on your home plumbing:

  • Turkey: Turkey may seem like the one thing that doesn’t cause harm to a kitchen sink, but that’s exactly what makes it such a threat. While most of us know not to throw poultry skin and bones into the garbage disposal, grease is another matter. If poured into a kitchen sink drain, the drippings from your turkey can re-solidify into fats that coat your drain and lead to serious clogs.
  • Potatoes: Thanksgiving dinner prep tends to be a bit more intense than your usual meal, and that can cause common sense to go out the window. If you peel your potatoes over the kitchen sink, you could wake up tomorrow to find that even the garbage disposal couldn’t stop the peels from clogging your sink drain. The starchy nature of potato skins causes them to turn clumpy when ground up, and that clump of potato is perfectly suited to stopping up your sink.
  • Rice and pasta: If you clear your plates into the sink, rice and pasta can end up in your drain. While not an immediate threat, as they get wetter and wetter, they turn into starchy glue that can gum up your drain pipes and render them unusable.

All of these factors, plus the increased load on your plumbing system caused by a hefty influx of house guests, can push it over the edge and lead to backups, clogs, and other issues that can’t wait for another day to be addressed.

How to Avoid Making Your Home Part of the Brown Friday Queue

Thankfully, just because you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your home doesn’t mean you have to join the queue for plumbing services on Brown Friday. Here are some tips to help you avoid plumbing issues on Thanksgiving:

  • Don’t pour any fats or cooking oils down the drain. Toss them out in the trash after absorbing them with a paper towel.
  • Clean your plates into the garbage before putting them into the sink to be washed.
  • Run the disposal when you put in food, not after.
  • Ask your guests to take at least 10 minutes in between showers to give the plumbing system time to recover.
  • Address any plumbing issues you have before guests arrive. If your plumbing system is already compromised, the increased stress of a house full of guests is sure to push it past its limit.

Brown Friday FAQ

Why is Black Friday the busiest day of the year for plumbers?

Black Friday, or as plumbers often call it, Brown Friday, is the busiest day of the year for plumbers because people often overuse their plumbing system during the Thanksgiving holiday. In particular, plumbers receive many calls asking for help with sink clogs caused by turkey grease, vegetable skins, rice, and other food items.

Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Help Solving Your Brown Friday Problems

If you make it through Thanksgiving only to find that Brown Friday has plagued your home, don’t worry. The friendly, experienced plumbers at Mr. Rooter® Plumbing will help! Whether you need drain cleaning services or more intensive repairs, our courteous plumbers have the skills and tools needed to tackle whatever problem you have.

Schedule a service with us today!