Plumbers Prepare for “Brown Friday”

SALT LAKE CITY — Retailers aren’t the only ones busy on Black Friday. Plumbers across the state are anticipating a spike in calls for service in the wake of Thanksgiving festivities.

According to Jared Bytendorp, plumbing director for Black Diamond Experts, this is because families tend to cook more and invite a larger audience to celebrate the holidays. This translates into an increase in requests from people seeking help to unclog their sinks and toilets.

“It puts extra pressure on the sanitary facilities, especially the toilets,” says Bytendorp. “The same goes for the removals…so there are a lot of sewer blockages and toilet problems, usually the day after Thanksgiving.”

Black Diamond Experts, a home service company based in Salt Lake City that offers plumbing, heating, air and electrical services, typically sees a 25-30% increase in service calls on Black Friday, but calls are already starting to come in on Thanksgiving itself. Due to the high volume of calls, some people usually wait until Black Friday.

“It puts a strain on our system, usually we get the most out of it the day after,” Bytendorp said. “If they back up and hold, then we make it a priority to get to them first.”

Bytendorp offers some advice about what people can do to reduce possible sanitary problems.

“Watch what you throw down the sewer,” Bytendorp said. “Make sure you don’t put things in there like the fat and things that are going to support it.”

Sometimes you can clear a blockage yourself with a little work before seeking professional help.

“I would start with the simple things,” said Bytendorp. “Clean the P trap, see how far down the drain is, toilet dive…use those kinds of remedies first, then call a professional.”

In the event that an attempt to unclog the drain fails, you may be tempted to turn to chemical solutions to clear the clog. However, you should think twice before pouring such substances down a clogged drain.

“In general, I don’t recommend any kind of chemicals to do that,” Bytendorp said. “Because if they don’t get it clear with that, we have to come with our snakes, and it usually splatters in the faces of our techs.”

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