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Preventing Kitchen Drain Problems

Preventing Kitchen Drain Problems

Kitchen SInk

Most kitchen drain clogs occur gradually over time as grease and food waste slowly accumulates. As the pipe narrows you may notice that sinks take longer to empty, or that there are gurgling sounds. These are the early signs of a clogged drain that you should not ignore. Thankfully, you can keep your kitchen drains flowing and prevent problems by following a few simple rules.

1. Keep grease out of drains

Grease, oil and fat are among the most common causes of clogged drains. You may get away with pouring grease down the drain for a while without noticing any problems, but over time grease accumulates inside the pipe and slows the drain down. This is a problem because grease creates a sticky surface for food waste to cling to the inside of the drain.

The safest way to dispose of oil and grease is to pour it into an empty container and put it in the freezer. The frozen grease can then be thrown into the trash. Thicker grease can be wiped off with a paper towel and thrown into the garbage.

2. Don’t overload the disposal

While garbage disposals are a great convenience, it’s important to realize there are limits to what they can grind at once and not rely too heavily on your disposal to get rid of food waste. Put food waste into a compost pile or the trash prior to rinsing dishes into the sink.

3. Don’t put starchy or stringy foods down the disposal

Food that becomes sticky and expands when wet, such as pasta, potatoes, rice, and so on, can cling like glue to the inside of pipes and create very stubborn clogs. Other food waste you should avoid putting down drains include stringy waste like banana peels, orange peels, and pineapple rinds.

4. Maintain your drains

A little bit of preventative maintenance can make a big difference. When using your disposal always run plenty of cold water, and keep the water running for 30 seconds after turning off the disposal. You can also keep your kitchen drain in good condition by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. After the solution stops fizzing, rinse out the drain with a few cups of boiling water. The chemical reaction will cut through the lighter layers of gunk that can accumulate over time.

5. Call a professional for tough clogs

If your kitchen drain has clogged, it’s best to avoid store-bought chemical drain cleaning products. Many of them contain hazardous chemicals such as lye that can be harmful to your plumbing system and your family’s safety.

If you notice that your drains are emptying slowly, give the plumbers at Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical a call. We can help clear the toughest clogs quickly and safely.