Why You Should Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

Why You Should Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

Few things cause more plumbing woes in the kitchen than grease and oil. Pouring grease down the drain is certainly tempting, but it is something that should be avoided at all costs. Grease and oil lead to blockages, backups and sewage spills, and the best way to avoid needing to call a plumber is not pouring it down the drain in the first place.

How Grease Damages Your Home’s Plumbing

Think of your home’s plumbing system as the blood vessels of your house. It is critical for bringing water in and removing liquid waste, and when not properly cared for, major problems occur.

Grease clogs drains just like excess fat in your blood clogs blood vessels and arteries. Hot oil that is poured down the drain clings to the inside of the pipe. Despite popular belief, running hot water does not flush it out. The grease continues to build up over time, eventually blocking the entire pipe.

Even when grease makes it to the sewer, major problems can still occur as grease combines with soap-like chemicals, sometimes causing blockages and sewer overflows.

Keeping Grease Out of Your Drains

While not pouring grease from cooking pans or a deep fryer in the sink is an obvious solution, it may not be enough to fully prevent the problem. Grease hangs out in places you might not even consider. In fact, many of your favorite foods contain grease and oils, including:

  • Salad dressing
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cheese
  • Gravy
  • Sour cream
  • Meat

Garbage disposals do not remove grease, so if you’re putting greasy foods in the disposal, they’re causing build up in your drain. Before rinsing your plate, make sure all greasy foods and condiments have been scraped into the trash.

To get rid of cooking grease from pans, pour it in a tin can and allow it cool before throwing it in the trash. Collect oil from deep fryers, and take it to a collection facility.

What to Do When You Drop Grease in Your Drain

Whether you forget and pour grease down the drain while rushing to make dinner, or you accidentally spill some in the sink, one mistake isn’t going to cause an instant clog. When this happens, quickly boil some water and pour it down the drain. This should be done on a regular basis to turn solid grease back into a liquid and help it move through your home’s plumbing system.

Adding vinegar and baking soda to boiling water further helps to break down fat, and it’s a good way to deal with unpleasant drain odors. Ammonia also helps remove grease from drains.

How to Tell if Your Drain Has Grease Build Up

Determining whether your drain has build up is usually pretty easy. The first sign is water draining slowly. There may also be a gurgling sound as water drains, and you might notice unpleasant odors coming from your drain.

When it comes to protecting your plumbing system from the damaging effects of grease, prevention is key. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to completely prevent grease from ending up in the sink. To avoid major clogs and plumbing headaches, remember to perform routine maintenance to keep your sink flowing freely.

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