How Grease Can Damage Your Pipes

Is Grease Very Harmful?


One of the most common things that can be sent down the pipes is grease, especially in the kitchen. It is so tempting to just dump grease or oil down the drain. After all, it couldn’t clog the pipe because it’s a liquid—and a slippery liquid at that—right? Wrong! Cooking grease and oil are the leading causes of clogs, sewage spills, and pipe backups. Therefore the easiest way to avoid having to call a plumber is to avoid sending them down the drain.

Whenever you pour hot grease down the drain, it sticks to the pipe. Hot water doesn’t help flush the grease out. It just builds up over time until it finally ends up blocking the entire pipe.

One of the biggest problems is figure out where grease is hiding. It’s actually found in many of the foods you might otherwise put down the garbage disposal or simply allow to go down your sink drain. 

Oil, butter, sour cream, and mayonnaise are all common culprits of grease, as are cheese, dips, sauces, salad dressing, cake frosting, and gravy. Even the fat that gets left on your plate from a tasty cut of meat can cause a problem if it gets put down the garbage disposal.

So what’s the best way to keep these greasy culprits out of our drains?


Contrary to popular believe, garbage disposals do not remove grease, so make sure you scrape greasy foods off your plates right into the garbage can. Also use a strainer in all of your sink drains so that greasy foods do not accidentally fall down them.

Cooking grease from pans should be poured into a can that can be sealed and then placed into the garbage can. Make sure that you allow the grease to cool before you put it in the trash because you could inadvertently melt the garbage bag if it’s hot.

Oil from deep fryers should also be collected and then taken to a collection facility where it is usually accepted free. A tallow company typically picks up this cooking oil and then recycles it.

So what should you do if you accidentally drop grease into the sink or drain?


Of course one spill doesn’t cause your pipes to clog. However it is a good idea to boil some water and then pour it down the drain regularly. This helps turn the grease from a solid back into a liquid so that it will move further along the pipes. And if you add vinegar and baking soda to the boiling water, the fats will be broken down, and your drains will smell fresher. Ammonia can also help clear grease away.

It’s fairly easy to tell if grease is starting to clog your pipes. You’ll notice that the water has begun to drain slowly. Also there may be a gurgling sound as it goes down the drain. Bad smells can also indicate that you may have a grease clog just waiting to cause a problem.

If you think grease may have damaged your pipes, let the experts at Scott English Plumbing help you out. We have made it our mission to offer all of our customers quality service at affordable prices. 

The many services we offer include 24 hour emergency service, backflow testing, electronic leak detection, plumbing inspections, and slab leak detection and repair. We also offer installation, repair, and inspection for water heaters, toilets, faucets, bathtubs, showers, kitchens, bathrooms, garbage disposals, and water softeners. Call Scott English Plumbing today to learn more.


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