When it comes to your home’s plumbing and drainage system, there are a lot of different things that cause destructive issues. Among the leading culprits that causes damage to your drains is grease. While most people know that grease is harmful to their plumbing, most do not know exactly why. At Cates Heating and Cooling, our plumbing team sees a lot of damage due to grease and other harmful materials going down the drain. For this reason, we want to share with you why grease should never go down your drain, and what you should do with it instead.
Harmful Effects of Grease on Your Home’s Plumbing
Grease is a common byproduct of cooking, especially when preparing bacon and other fatty meats. However, oil and butter also fall into the category of things to avoid putting down your sink drain. While rinsing and cleaning grease-soaked pots and pans in the sink seems like an easy cleanup solution, it can cause clogging in the drains.
When you finish cooking, greases are usually liquid due to the heat it undergoes. As grease and other oils cool down, they solidify. If this occurs inside the drains, the grease will build up. Over time, the buildup will lead to a clog in the plumbing system. In addition to the grease, food waste that goes down the garbage disposal can get stuck.
As the clog becomes larger, it will cause significant drainage issues. Therefore, if you notice that your sink has an unpleasant odor or is draining slowly, a clog may be the reason behind this. A clog in the drain can also cause problems with the garbage disposal. Eventually, your drain may even become completely backed up, which can cause flooding or pipe bursts.
Unfortunately, grease buildup can cause a much larger problem that affects other nearby homeowners. As waste travels through your plumbing, it enters the public sewer system. If grease is present it can combine with other people’s waste, which can eventually buildup into an obstruction that damages the whole neighborhood’s sewage system.
The Importance of Professional Cleaning
Now, you are probably wondering what to do if grease or oil does go down the sink into the drains. If you notice the problem right away, there is a DIY fix that can help. Mix boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda, and pour the mixture down the drain. Liquid drain cleaner may temporarily fix the problem, as well. However, to permanently fix the problem, you will likely need have a professional cleaning done.
Having drains cleaned on a regular basis will help prevent any grease-related clogs. After all, it is easy for small amounts of grease to go down the drain while washing the dishes. This professional cleaning can be done during your routine plumbing maintenance.
How to Properly Dispose of Grease
While professional cleaning can clear your drain of any clogs, it is best to avoid of grease buildup all together. Therefore, it is important to know how to properly dispose of grease. If you have a large amount of grease, we recommend pouring it into a glass jar while it is still in liquid form. The grease will solidify, and you can through it away in the trash.
You can also leave it to solidify while it is still all pots, pans, or appliances. If you choose this option, you will need to be sure to scrape it into the garbage once it is solid. Lastly, you can wipe off any surfaces with grease with a paper towel and dispose of it in the trash.
Even when we try to dispose of grease and other kitchen-related substances, they can still make their way into your drains. When this occurs, call Cates Heating and Cooling. Our plumbers can clear any clogged pipes and drains. We also offer all other plumbing services to our customers, including plumbing repairs, water heaters, sump pumps, pipe repair, and more! Cates Heating and Cooling also offers 24-hour service, should plumbing emergencies arise during the night.
To book an appointment, call us at 913-888-4470 for Kansas residents or 816-944-1844 for Missouri residents.