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Tomorrow is the #1 Day for Plumbing Issues—4 Surefire Ways to Avoid Them

Keep the pipes running smoothly on Brown Friday with these expert tips.

You've no doubt heard of Black Friday—the undisputed biggest shopping day of the year. But did you know Black Friday also shares a date with so-called Brown Friday? Unfortunately, this is exactly what it sounds like: the biggest day of the year for plumbing issues. According to Yelp data, in 2022, the day after Thanksgiving saw a whopping 99 percent increase in users requesting a quote for plumbers compared to the day before the holiday.

"The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally busy for plumbers due to the combination of large family gatherings, extensive cooking, and the increased use of kitchen and bathroom facilities," Mark Morris, a master plumber and consultant for Deluxe Plumbers, a Texas-based plumbing company, told Best Life. "Many plumbing issues arise from the disposal of inappropriate materials down sinks and toilets. Grease, food scraps, and non-flushable items often cause clogs and backups during this time."

However, through a combination of short-term preparation and long-term planning, it's possible to ensure your pipes run smoothly during the busiest plumbing day of the year. Here are four ways you can avoid plumbing issues on Brown Friday.

RELATED: The 5 Worst Things You're Doing to Your Toilet, According to Plumbers.

Buy the right toilet paper.

Basket with rolls of toilet paper and eucalyptus branch on grunge background

"Opt for toilet paper labeled as septic-safe or biodegradable. These types break down more easily in the plumbing system and are less likely to cause blockages," Morris recommends. "Avoid extra-thick or ultra-plush varieties, which may not disintegrate as readily."

Another general rule of thumb is also one that's good for your wallet: When in doubt, buy the cheaper stuff. As Jake Romano, the general manager of John the Plumber, a plumbing company based in Ottawa, Canada, told Best Life, cheaper toilet paper tends to be thinner and therefore dissolves more easily.

But whatever you do, don't use wipes. Even those labeled as "flushable" can clog pipes, according to Morris.

RELATED: 7 Toilet Paper Mistakes You're Making.

Either flush more—or way, way less.

Smart japanese bidet automated toilet washlet with remote for easing cleaning rinsing with water without using toilet paper. at home bathroom modern lifestyle.
Maridav / Shutterstock

"There's no specific frequency of flushing that will prevent clogs. The key is to ensure only appropriate materials are flushed," Morris says, adding that if it can't go down the pipe in a single flush, you've got too much stuff in there.

If you're willing to splurge, you could seriously cut into your toilet paper usage with one quick purchase. "Install a bidet," Romano recommends. "You can get bidet seats for your toilet. They're super convenient, they're more hygienic, and you'll use less toilet paper."

It's possible to find well-rated bidets these days—like the models via Tushy—for under $150.

Pour grease into the trash.

Dirty oily pan with cold solid grease saturated fat from bacon after frying
ablokhin / iStock

Not all Thanksgiving plumbing issues happen in the bathroom. The kitchen is arguably a bigger danger zone, what with all the extra food and grease going into your pipes (especially if you're hosting more people than you'd usually have over for dinner).

"Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain. These can solidify and block pipes," Morris cautions. "Dispose of grease in a container and throw it in the trash. Also, use a strainer in the sink to catch food scraps and avoid letting them go down the drain."

As for coffee grounds—whether you're making them post-dinner or an extra pot in the morning for your guests—make sure to dump those in the trash too, rather than pour them down the drain.

RELATED: 4 Easy Ways to Unclog Your Sink—And 4 Ways You're Making It Worse.

Stock up on products and inspections

plumber working on a sink
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

If you're having guests over for Thanksgiving and want to avoid plumbing issues, ensure you have everything you need on hand, like a plunger, plus a few bottles of Draino or other pipe cleaners.

"I would recommend cleaning your drains monthly with vinegar and baking soda or some other concoction," Romano says.

But stocking up on products isn't the only way you can be proactive. "Regularly check your plumbing system for any signs of issues and address them promptly," Morris advises. "Consider having a professional plumber inspect your system before the holiday season if you anticipate hosting a large number of guests."

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Ari Notis
Ari is an editor specializing in news and lifestyle. Read more
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