Protect Your Kitchen Plumbing from FOG Clogs

It might seem like kitchen plumbing can withstand nearly anything that you throw at it, but it cannot. Most of the systems in the home do have weaknesses. As a homeowner, it is wise to know about the weaknesses so you can avoid creating problems that will cause damage to the hidden systems in your home. Fortunately, when it comes to your kitchen sink and plumbing, it just takes a few simple steps to avoid wreaking havoc on your pipes.

Keep Those Pipes Clean

The biggest dangers to your kitchen plumbing are not big, sharp, or heavy things. The biggest danger involves seemingly harmless fats, oils, and greases - referred to as “F.O.G.” These substances are commonly poured down kitchen drains or dishwasher drains. After fats, oils, and grease has been heated, it seems like it would simply flow down the drain and out of the house, but the gunky substances become so sticky and gunky that they build up inside of your pipes. Even if you periodically run hot water down your drain, the fats, oils, and greases might heat up for a short amount of time, but they resolidify and stick to more of the pipes.

How to Effectively Clog Your Pipes

Your garbage disposal does not help move fats, oils, and greases down the pipes. Instead of helping, it only creates more problems as the oils and fats are broken down into small (but still congealed) pieces that stick to the sides of the pipes. As the fats move through the plumbing system, they build up in a way that is similar to clogged arteries. The fats catch more fats; so eventually, the entire pipe gets clogged. The blockage can slow the flow of the drain and eventually completely block water from flowing down a pipe. If you do not want to pay for expensive pipe repairs, there is really only one way to avoid this problem - do not pour fats, oils, and greases down your kitchen sink or put dishes with the same substances on them in the dishwasher.

Develop New Kitchen Habits

If you want to keep your kitchen plumbing working properly, there are several kitchen clean-up habits that you can quickly develop. The first is to avoid putting dishes with caked on food in the dishwasher. You can do this by making sure that you scrape the food off into your garbage can instead of into the kitchen sink. Many of the sneaky condiments and other food items that stick to your plates do so because of fats and oils. By changing the way you clean your plates, you can make your kitchen plumbing last for a long time.

Clean Dishes over the Trash

Another useful habit is to use a strainer in your sink. These little devices fit nicely atop the drain and they catch all of the pesky items that might clog your drain. They are quick to slip in and out of place so you can dump the contents in your trash can after use. A strainer will usually be able to catch fats and grease, but some oils might be able to slide right through the holes. So, even if you do use a strainer, still avoid dumping fats, oils, and greases down the drain.

Making Good Decisions

If you must cook with fats, grease, or oil, never dump the food stuffs down the drain. One of the best ways to dispose of kitchen grease is to let it cool to room temperature and then pour it into an empty jar or other disposable container. After pouring the grease into the jar, seal it shut and put it in your trash can. Be sure to wait until the oil or grease has cooled so you do not hurt yourself on hot splatters.

Work Hard to Avoid Problems

Along with avoid fats, oils, and greases being poured down the drain, it is important to consider the items that might not seem like they contain those food substances. If you enjoyed a salad or another recipe that contains mayonnaise or salad dressings, clean them plates over the kitchen garbage to keep the fats from going down the drain. Many people will use paper towels to clean the dishes that have oils on them. It is better not to use a cloth because the oils will then clog the pipes attached to your washer and drier.

If you have any questions about maintaining your kitchen plumbing, give us a call at Scott English Plumbing in Anaheim, CA at 714-987-9801 or 949-462-9773.