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How to avoid a 'Brown Friday' plumbing fiasco

The day after Thanksgiving, you could be spending big plumbing dollars if you're not careful.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The day after Thanksgiving is huge for shoppers, but it is also big for the plumbing industry.

In fact, the day is known as "Brown Friday" among plumbers who will be busy fixing countless problems that could have been avoided.

How to avoid an after-Thanksgiving fiasco

Taylor Gilbert at Affordable Plumbing & Water Damage Restoration in Grand Rapids says he anticipates getting calls on Friday. 

"We always make sure we have at least one guy on call with a backup guy on call, because when you have a clogged drain it's not something you can wait on," said Gilbert. 

Contacting a professional during the holidays can be pricey because of emergency rates, which are typically double the normal rate.

Although there is the possibility of a septic backup during a big holiday meal, the real issues happen in the kitchen sink.

"Putting food from Thanksgiving dinner down the drain creates grease backup. Pour the grease while it's hot into a container, let it cool, and just throw it away," said Gilbert. "Kitchen drains are the worst."

So here are some tips to keep your kitchen safe from icky Brown Friday clogs:

  1. Don't put grease or bones down the garbage disposal – this will create backup. It a misconception that you can put anything down the garbage disposal. This is not true.
  2. Wait for grease too cool down, scrape it off the pan and throw it in the garbage. When it comes to grease: cool it, can it, trash it.
  3. Throw any solid waste in the garbage, again never put it down the sink drain. If you are unsure if the garbage disposal can handle some type of waste, assume that it can't. And throw it in the garbage.  

If a problem does occur, you should not try to fix it yourself. Don't use the clogged sink while it is not working properly, and call a professional.


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