You have heard about Black Friday, right? Of course you have. At the time this post was written, Black Friday 2021 was still a recent memory. But have you heard of Brown Friday? According to News 5 Cleveland, it is a real thing. Brown Friday is a day that plumbers across the country dread.
Before you let your imagination run wild, Brown Friday takes its name from something you probably aren’t expecting. It has nothing to do with the toilet or the shower. Rather, Brown Friday is so named due to how people use their kitchen sinks on the food-heavy Thanksgiving holiday.
Salt City Plumbing is among those local plumbing companies that sees an increase in business on the Friday after Thanksgiving. As reputable plumbers in Salt Lake City, Utah, they get their fair share of Brown Friday calls relating to clogged pipes, sink backups, and broken garbage disposals.
Not a Garbage Receptacle
Salt City Plumbing says one of the biggest Brown Friday problems is that people assume their garbage disposals are capable of handling anything. But it is not true. A garbage disposal is not a garbage can. It’s actually nothing more than a small motor with a rotating head and three or four metal teeth.
The garbage disposal’s main purpose is to chop up certain types of food waste so that it flushes down the drain more easily. It works great on things like corn, mashed potatoes, small pieces of bread, etc. It doesn’t work so well on fibrous foods like celery and rhubarb. The garbage disposal is certainly not appropriate for disposing of turkey bones and skin.
The Drain Cleaner Problem
People treating their garbage disposals like trash cans is generally the start of Brown Friday problems. However, problems that are otherwise manageable quickly spiral out of control when a homeowner adds a commercial drain cleaner to a clogged sink.
Plumbers insist that drain cleaners don’t work as well as advertised. Furthermore, they can make matters worse if homeowners do not use them exactly as described in the instructions. For example, assuming that more is better only makes using a crystal drain cleaner worse. Pouring too much crystal down a clogged drain can turn an easily manageable clog into a nearly impenetrable nightmare.
Plungers and the FOG Rule
Salt City Plumbing says the best way to avoid having to call a plumber on Brown Friday is to keep a plunger handy and follow the FOG rule. Should your kitchen sink get clogged, hitting it with a plunger should remove the clog in short order. If the plunger fails, a plumbing snake might work. You will only need to call the plumber if both solutions fail.
As for the FOG rule, the acronym itself stands for ‘fat, oil, and grease’. Never attempt to wash these three things down the kitchen sink. Instead, scrape them into the trash can. Things that qualify under the FOG will include butter, salad dressing, gravy, cooking oil, and grease.
Following the FOG rule, throwing fibrous food waste into the trash, and never putting bones through the garbage disposal should eliminate most Brown Friday problems. That will make your plumber happier, because they will get to spend more time with their family rather than answering emergency plumbing calls.
Yes, Brown Friday is a real thing. If you are not so sure, ask your local plumber about it. You might just be surprised to learn that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest on a plumber’s calendar. While everyone else is shopping, your plumber is clearing clogged sinks and fixing broken garbage disposals.