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Black Friday Backs Up Plumbers

Black Friday is the busiest day for retail, but it’s also the busiest day for plumbers. Steve Harless has been cleaning drains and sewers for 21 years.

“I’ve never ever had the day after Thanksgiving or day after Christmas off,” says Harless, plumber at All Drains in Milan Illinois.

When most people think of the day after Thanksgiving they think of Black Friday, but for plumbers they have a different name for it, Brown Friday.

“We see a lot of potato peels, a lot of celery, um people putting things down the disposable,” says Joe Roberts, service manager at B&B Drain Tech in Milan, Illinois.

They say it’s the busiest day of the year for them.

 “It’s definitely steady now. We’re not overbooked yet, give it a couple hours when everybody gets done with their Black Friday shopping,” says Harless.

To avoid being charged a holiday fee, most customers wait the day after to call. The biggest problem they see is people throwing anything down their garbage disposal. One call Steve went to, a woman put roast beef down her drain.

“People coming over and helping grandma cook and putting everything down the disposal. That’s usually where we see flux of problems,” says Roberts.

So what can’t you put down a disposal?

“Orange peels, lemon peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, pasta rice, thick meat,” says Harless.

One common misconception if you run hot water down with grease everything will be okay, but that’s not entirely true.

“Once it gets down inside the line it actually cools and once it gets below grade, below floor, it can be 65 degrees so that causes it to harden up,” says Roberts.


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