Tricks of the trade

4 tips to prepare for common Black Friday plumbing service calls

Robbie Foglia, a Ferguson author

by Robbie Foglia


Many people think of Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year, but the day after Thanksgiving is often the busiest work day of the year for residential service plumbers. In fact, some plumbers report a 50 percent increase in service calls on Black Friday. This is because residential plumbing systems are put under additional pressure around Thanksgiving with more people than usual flushing the toilet and more food scraps going down the kitchen sink. Find out the four most common service calls that plumbers receive on Black Friday and tips to help you make sure your professional plumbing business is ready.

1. Blocked kitchen drains.

Turkey is a staple of Thanksgiving feasts, but yields a large amount of grease in the cooking process. When poured down the kitchen sink, grease builds up in the p-trap and blocks other drain components.

Pro tip: Make sure to have an extra drain snake on hand to meet the demand and clear sink drains that are stopped up from turkey grease and other Thanksgiving foods.

2. Clogged garbage disposals.

Food waste like turkey bones, potato skins, corn husks and pumpkin scraps are common byproducts of traditional Thanksgiving dinners. When homeowners attempt to put those foods down the garbage disposal, they end up with a clogged or broken disposal.

Pro tip: Stock up on disposals, disposal wrenches and disposal repair parts to keep up with the high volume of clogged garbage disposals after Thanksgiving.

Bonus pro tip: By offering a wide range of disposal solutions you can best meet the needs of your customer and work towards creating a life-long customer.

3. Backed up toilets.

Family and friends coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving means your customers’ toilets are being used and flushed more than usual. Minor blockages in drain lines that existed before the holiday can quickly turn into major clogs with the increased use.

Pro tip: Invest in a new plunger, pipe wrenches and waste system cleaner to keep your customers’ toilets flushing and pipes flowing.

4. Slowly draining tubs and showers.

Just as your customers’ toilets are used more around Thanksgiving due to an influx of guests, their tubs and showers are being used more as well. A rise in the number of showers being taken will increase the amount of hair and soap residue building up in the drain lines, making the bath water slow to drain or even overflow.

Pro tip: Keep your work van stocked and organized with an array of drain tools and cleanouts to keep water flowing in your customers’ tubs and showers when company visits over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Get tips to organize your work van >>

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Robbie Foglia, a Ferguson author

Robbie Foglia

Robbie Foglia, a native of Norfolk, VA, brings 10 years of experience in digital media writing to Ferguson, where he authors informative content for plumbing, HVAC and general contractors about trade trends, new tools and tips for improving your contracting business.