Black Friday: Biggest Day for Plumbers? You Betcha!

Southlake, TX – Nov 23, 2009 – Retailers call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because the surge of Christmas shoppers starts the year-end push retailers count on to be in black ink for the year. Plumbers call it a very long day.

For many homeowners Black Friday will have quite a different meaning. All the extra cooking and house guests makes the Friday after Thanksgiving the busiest day of the year for plumbers across the United States.

Master Plumber Jamie Wooldridge, of Berkeys Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, says most service calls plumbers receive on Thanksgiving and the day after result from three problems – garbage disposers, clogged drains and toilets. He says many emergency calls would be unnecessary if people would pay heed to some telltale signs of plumbing problems before the holiday.

“If you have slow drains, or a toilet that isn’t flushing completely, chances are a plumber can fix your problem before it becomes a crisis,” Wooldridge said. “Better to fix it before you have a house full of company and no toilets working.”

Wooldridge gives advice for preventing holiday headaches caused by the big three plumbing problems.

Problem #1 – Garbage Disposer Overload

First Plumbers’ Law Thanksgiving: People will try to put things down your disposer they wouldn’t think of trying with their own.

The food disposers in most homes aren’t capable of handling large loads all at once. Nor are they especially good at processing potato peels, celery, corn cobs, turkey dressing and bones. These tips will help avoid a disposal disaster:

  • Run the disposal with a moderate-to-strong flow of cold water. Continue to run cold water for 15 seconds after grinding is complete to carry the waste out of your pipes.
  • Don’t attempt to grind too much at a time. Use a steady follow of smaller amounts instead of filling the sink with food waste before flipping the switch.
  • Use cold water when grinding food waste. Hot water makes it easier for grease to move through the pipe and solidify later. It’s alright to drain hot water into the disposal between grinding periods.
  • Don’t pour grease or fat into your disposer or drain.
  • Run ice cubes through your disposal to sharpen the blades.
  • Use a disposal cleaner to clear up bad odors caused by build-up, or grind citrus fruit peels to freshen up the drain area.
  • Disposers may be cleaned with Disposer Care®. This product is available in major home centers, hardware and grocery stores.

Problem # 2 – Clogged Drains

The Rule of Nearly Clogged Drains: The drains in most homes are closer to being clogged than homeowners think.

Clogged drains usually result from putting the wrong things – or too much of the right things – down your disposal. That is when a homeowner’s personal Black Friday begins.

The drains in many homes are partially clogged, anyway, with food waste, grease, hair and some things that never should have gotten into the plumbing system at all. All it takes to finish the job is a big surge of activity when lots of company puts an extra load on the plumbing system.

Problem #3 – Toilets

Second Plumbers’ Law of Thanksgiving: People will try to put things down your toilet they wouldn’t think of trying with their own.

Lots of company in homes, eating and drinking, causes toilets to go into overdrive. As with garbage disposals, the Rule of Nearly Clogged Drains applies, but with more dire consequences.

Wooldridge says if heavy use were the only problem most homeowners might get through the day without declaring an emergency. But the problem goes beyond that.

“You wouldn’t believe the things we find stopping up toilets on Thanksgiving and Black Friday – toy cars, ballpoint pens, cell phones, underwear, socks and, oh, never mind,” Wooldridge said. “Kids playing with other kids get excited. Sometimes they invent games like, ‘Oh yeah? I bet I can flush this thing down the toilet!’”

“Watch out for the youngsters who ask if they have to eat Aunt Olive’s green bean casserole. Be especially suspicious if the slow eaters clean their plates too fast. We’ve found whole meals flushed down the drain, straight from the plate,” Wooldridge said.

About Berkeys

Berkeys Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has specialized in the needs of homeowners in Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Flower Mound for more than 34 years. Berkeys reputation for prompt, honest service from licensed and factory trained technicians assures customers the best in professional service and equipment. Texas State License #TACLB26791E. To learn more, call Berkeys at 1-877-BERKEYS, or visit our Website at