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How To Avoid “Brown Friday” This Thanksgiving, According To A Plumber

Plumbers get 50% more calls on the day after Thanksgiving — aka Brown Friday — than any other day.

If you're hosting Thanksgiving, you're probably stressed enough as is without me telling you about what plumbers call...Brown Friday.

According to Gary Findley, CEO of Waco-based Bluefrog Plumbing and Drain, plumbers get 50% more calls on the day after Thanksgiving — aka Brown Friday. Luckily, he shared a few helpful tips, so you don't have to participate in this rather upsetting unofficial holiday.

1. Turn your garbage disposal on after the water is running, and before you push food through.

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"Don’t wait until the garbage disposal is full to turn it on, and make sure it is running when scraps are thrown in it," says Findley. It's also a good idea to let it run for a few seconds after you push the food down to give it time to grind everything up.

2. Throw potato peels and poultry skins in the trash instead of trying to cram them down the garbage disposal.

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Any stringy or fibrous foods are just going to get stuck. "These foods aren't easy to cut up," says Findley, so they can easily block your garbage disposal. This includes poultry skins, fruit and vegetable peels, rice, pasta, and celery. Instead stick your vegetable scraps in your compost pile or freeze them to make a delicious stock later on! Since meat scraps can't be composted, save them to make stock or throw them in the trash.

3. Pour excess grease and oil in the trash before washing a pan.

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Grease and oil have a tendency to stick to pipes and solidify over time. "It’s like plaque in an artery; it’s going to have a tendency to stick to the sides and eventually harden," says Findley. That's not to say you need to totally wipe your pans clean before you even put them in the sink — just get as much out as you can before running it in the sink.

4. Better yet, scrape all leftover food from plates, pots, and pans into the trashcan or compost bin before rinsing dishes.

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Because you're going to be dealing with so much food, it's better to just assume that everything and anything can block your pipes. That's especially true if you don't have a garbage disposal, says Findley.

5. Ask your guests to leave 10–15 minutes between showers to give the water time to drain.

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If you've got a bunch of extra people staying over, the showers are going to be used more frequently than normal. "It’s a good idea to give your shower extra time to drain out before you run the water again," says Findley. If the shower hasn't drained in the allotted 10–15 minutes, there's probably a clog. The habit will also give the water time to reheat, so the next guest to use the shower isn't shivering.

6. Stick to single-ply toilet paper, especially when you've got a lot of guests who are eating a lot of food.

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They poop, OK? The problem is more poop. Single-ply will break down a lot easier and doesn't absorb as much water as thicker toilet paper, so there's less chance of a backup. Findley says this tip is especially important if you've got a low-flush toilet, because they clog much more easily than a regular toilet.

7. And regardless of what toilet paper you use, keep a plunger nearby to spare your guests from any embarrassment.

amazon.com / Via amazon.com

Purchasing a plunger for every bathroom does you, your guests, and your plumbing a big favor. And get a toilet brush while you're at it so they can clean off any, ahem, remnants without flushing 12 times.

Get this set from Amazon for $14.44.

Hope everything runs smoothly this year!

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