Having Guests Over? Avoid These Plumbing Issues

Two women at a kitchen sink

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The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. With a home’s plumbing system working overtime as more households have guests over, plumbers say they field the most calls that day due to plumbing, sewage, and drain-related issues.

That day is twice as busy as any other day of the year, Beau Means, operations manager at Benjamin Franklin Plumbers in Wichita, Kan., told realtor.com®. The day is so hectic and infamous in the trade that plumbers refer to it as “Brown Friday” after the masses of grease and other clogging substances they must deal with.

But the two most common culprits of plumbing problems can be avoided.

First, watch what you throw down the drain. Turkey bones, vegetable peelings (like potato skins and onion peels), eggshells, and corncobs will clog kitchen sinks and disposals, plumbers told realtor.com®.

Also on that list, plumbers say: Never use the drain to dispose of grease, oils, or fats. They can harden and then back up the drain and then can be very difficult to remove. Let the fats and grease harden and then throw them in the trash can instead.

Second, watch for bathroom clogs. Having more guests in the house means the toilet and showers are getting used more frequently. Make sure guests don’t flush feminine products, wet wipes, dental floss, and cotton balls down the toilet, realtor.com® says. These items could potentially clog a toilet. Put it in writing with a taped sign if you want to avoid an awkward conversation.

Also, plumbers recommend guests space out showers by about 10 or 15 minutes so the drains have time to clear. You could also use a shower strainer to catch any loose hair.

"With the flurry of cooking and entertaining happening at homes and businesses close to and on Brown Friday, people often forget about these common plumbing mistakes that could end up causing them a major headache," says Matt O'Rourke, president of Z Plumberz.