Plumbers busy unclogging sinks on 'Brown Friday'

Posted: Updated:

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers and is known in the industry as Brown Friday.

Nationwide, Roto-Rooter estimates that their customer calls increase by 50-percent over an average Friday and they see a 21-percent uptick ini business over any other four-day weekend period during the year.

"Most people are glad to see you. They're just really thankful that we work on Friday," said Tom Weakly, a plumber with Roto-Rooter. 

A majority of calls this day are for problems in the kitchen sink.

"Garbage disposals get misused very often. They're great at grinding up things into paste. But, the way a sewer system is designed is not to drain paste. It's to drain water," said Collin Campbell, master plumber for Roto-Rooter.

The problem can be solved within 30 minutes by a professional, and can cost up to $200.

With more people visiting during the holidays, Roto-Rooter offers these pieces of advice to avoid plumbing troubles.  

  • Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes and choke drains.
  • Don't put vegetable peels, poultry skins, bones, rice or pasta down the garbage disposal.
  • Disposals can handle scraps in small quantities but most food waste belongs in the trash can.
  • Make sure the disposal is running when you feed it food scraps.
  • Don't flush wet wipes down toilets. They won't dissolve and may cause clogs.
  • Place a plunger in guest bathrooms.
  • Spread out showers and laundry loads.