Brown Friday: Plumbing’s Busiest Day Meets Thanksgiving Tradition


As families across the nation gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with sumptuous feasts and joyful reunions, there’s a less talked about tradition that unfolds in the background – “Brown Friday.” Known as the busiest day of the year for plumbers, Brown Friday sees a surge in plumbing emergencies, from clogged drains to overflowing toilets. This phenomenon, deeply intertwined with Thanksgiving traditions, calls for a closer look.

The Origin and Evolution of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, a holiday steeped in American history, originated as a harvest festival. It commemorates the 1621 feast shared by the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. Over centuries, this day has evolved into a time of gratitude and familial gatherings, marked by lavish meals and festive cheer.

The Birth of “Brown Friday”

While Black Friday is widely recognized as the start of the holiday shopping season, its lesser-known counterpart, Brown Friday, emerges in the plumbing world. This quirky nickname was coined to describe the spike in plumbing and sewer line problems following Thanksgiving. The reason? Kitchen drains clogged with cooking oil and grease, and bathrooms overwhelmed by the increased number of guests.

Typical Plumbing Problems During Thanksgiving

The star of Thanksgiving, the turkey, inadvertently plays a role in plumbing woes. The grease and fats from cooking turkey, when poured down the drain, solidify in pipes, leading to clogs. Additionally, garbage disposals struggle with an array of forbidden items like potato peels, celery, and bones. Bathrooms are not spared either, with toilets facing their own set of challenges due to overuse.

The Impact on Plumbers

Plumbers brace themselves each year for Brown Friday. It’s all hands on deck as service calls can increase by up to 50%. Veteran plumbers often share tales of Brown Friday – a testament to the day’s notorious reputation for unexpected and often challenging work.

Preventive Measures and Tips

Prevention is key. Homeowners are advised to dispose of grease and food scraps in the trash, not the sink. Running hot water in the sink after each use can help prevent grease build-up. For bathrooms, it’s wise to have a plunger handy and remind guests not to flush anything other than toilet paper.

The Future of Thanksgiving and Plumbing

As Thanksgiving traditions continue to evolve, so too does the plumbing industry. Technological advancements and better-informed homeowners might reduce the frequency of Brown Friday emergencies in the future. However, the importance of professional plumbing services remains paramount.


Brown Friday serves as a reminder of the delicate balance between enjoying festive traditions and maintaining our home’s plumbing systems. By being mindful and prepared, we can ensure that our Thanksgiving celebrations are memorable for all the right reasons.

At John C. Flood, we understand the importance of a smoothly running household, especially during the holidays. Our team is ready to provide expert plumbing services this Brown Friday and beyond. Remember, a call to a professional plumber can save your post-Thanksgiving peace of mind! Call for same day service now at 703-214-5611!

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