Keep Thanksgiving and Black Friday from Going Down the Pipes

Richardson, Texas, Nov. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thanksgiving is an actual stress on your home, setting the stage for busted disposals and clogged toilets that lead to what the plumbing industry calls “Brown Friday”. With large groups gathering for the holiday, hosts have their homes’ pipes inundated, both in and out of the kitchen, and Service Experts is offering advice on what you can do to keep from clogging your holiday flow.

“If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, there are some things, beyond your grocery shopping, that you can do to prevent your holiday from going down the pipes,” said BJ Richardson, Division Plumbing Manager East with Service Experts. “Extra people and extra food in the kitchen at your house adding to ‘pipe traffic’ can be the final straw in putting systems over the edge. Nothing puts a damper on Thanksgiving dinner quite like a backup.”

Minor problems that have gone unnoticed will expose themselves when put under the added pressure of the holiday. For plumbers, the time around Thanksgiving is among the highest days of the year in call volume and new jobs scheduled, with some reporting a 50 percent jump in service calls on Brown Friday. Some simple tips can make sure you’re not one:

  • If you haven’t in a while, run a couple of egg shells through your disposal before the big day to help clear it out ahead of the coming rush. Note, do not run more than one or two at a time and do this only every several months – this does not mean flushing two dozen shells from your famous deviled eggs, put those in the trash.
  • Avoid putting starches, fiber, or other heavy materials down your disposal. With grease, giblets, stuffing, turkey bones, oils, and potato or onion peels abounding during preparation, it can be tempting to get lazy and just wash them down the drain. Be mindful about not doing it – compost what you can, dispose of oils properly in containers, or put it in the trash. You may be that hungry, but your disposal isn’t.
  • Have trash cans handy in the bathroom to help prevent guests from being tempted to put things like wet wipes, floss, feminine products, and beauty wipes down the toilet. You could put a cute sign in the bathroom reminding them. If you usually use flushable wipes, put them away so the multiplied traffic doesn’t wreak havoc on your pipes, even as a preventative. While you’re at it, set a couple of extra in public areas too so guests aren’t tempted to use the toilet as one.
  • After the meal, set your kitchen up to continue protecting your disposal. Scrape leftover food into the trash. Of course, some things will still go down your disposal – what do we have them for if not this day? For the things you do put down the disposal, run the faucet at the same time. Of course, that does not mean it is ever okay to put oil down the drain, even if running hot water at the same time. Warmed grease hitting a cold pipe just makes it stick to the pipe, closing it up even further – that is not the goal. If you can, wipe excess grease from pots and pans with a paper towel before washing.
  • Nobody wants to do the walk of shame. All wastewater from your house regardless of where it’s coming from is ultimately “fighting” to get through the sewer pipes. With extra houseguests, toilets are flushing more, clothes and dishwashers are running more, more baths and showers are being taken. If you don’t already have one, put a strainer over your shower drain to prevent hair from getting into your pipes, and put a plunger in all bathrooms just in case.
  • Finally, if you do have to call the professionals, stop what you might be doing to fix it to prevent further damage. If water is spraying or leaking, shut the water off at the main valve.

Founded in 1996, Service Experts is a leading provider of HVAC and plumbing repair, maintenance, new equipment sales and related services to residential and commercial customers in 31 U.S. states. Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Service Experts is one of North America's largest heating and air conditioning service companies, with 90 locations serving approximately 2,500 homes and businesses, on average, each working day. HVAC services include: residential HVAC service, replacement and leasing through the Service Experts Advantage Program. For more information on Service Experts sales, rebates, products and services, visit

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Thanksgiving is an actual stress on your home, setting the stage for busted disposals and clogged toilets that lead to what the plumbing industry calls “Brown Friday”.

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