We all know the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday.  Before online shopping, it was the busiest shopping day of the year, which was supposed to elevate businesses out of the "red" and into the "black". In other words, it was the day of the year when companies broke even and began to make a profit.

Perhaps not as well known is that the day after Thanksgiving is also known as "Brown Friday".

No, it doesn't have anything to do with clogged toilets.  Most municipal sewage systems, like San Angelo's, can handle all the extra poo generated on Thanksgiving. Although some households will need to invest in a new plunger.

Brown Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers due to an increased number of house calls regarding clogged drains and broken garbage disposals.

Some guests treat the garbage disposal as an extra trash can.  It isn't.  If you put any food item down the drain that can't be liquified, you will have a problem.

The sink in the kitchen is clogged and the water does not go down the drain


There is also a common misconception that pouring fatty oils and grease down the drain followed by hot water is ok. It isn't.  Fatty oils not properly disposed of can cause giant fatbergs in the sewer system.

When fat, oil, and grease collectively known as FOG get into the wastewater world they can accumulate in sewer lines.  They can cause sewage spills and backups and the need for expensive repairs.

In some large cities, fatbergs have grown to many tons and caused huge sewage backups and costly repairs.


To avoid a "Brown Friday" or "Brown" any other day in the aftermath of Thanksgiving this upcoming week, here are some tips.

  • Use a glass jar to store hot grease until it cools down and can be safely thrown in the trash.  You can also mix it with coffee grounds, or shredded newspaper to keep it from gunking up garbage trucks.
  • Even salad dressing and fatty things like butter and sour cream should go in the trash, not down the drain.
  • Scrape leftovers into the trash or compost, not the garbage disposal.
  • If you're worried your trash is going to start stinking, you can store food waste in a container in the freezer until trash day. Although, I would use a container with an air-tight lid.  No one wants trash-flavored popsicles.

Enjoy the leftovers this post-Thanksgiving season.  Hopefully, one of the leftovers from this holiday is not an unexpected plumbing bill.

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