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The Effects of Fats, Oils and Grease on Drain Systems

Common kitchen habits can severely impact household plumbing without appropriate management. When poured down drains, FOG sticks to pipe walls and accumulates over time. The adhesive properties of substances like grease fat allow them to build up gradually, forming clogs that restrict water flow.

As FOG builds up, it traps food particles and other debris, creating a thick residue inside your pipes. Eventually, blockages can lead to a complete blockage that prevents drainage entirely. Sinks and drains will back up with dirty water, creating unpleasant odours, sinks that don’t fully drain, and potential flooding.

Blocked drains from FOG clogs can also become breeding grounds for bacteria and pests, threats to one’s immune system. These substances can also solidify and turn rancid, leading to worsening blockages down your sink.

Old grease gets coated with grime and bacteria over time. FOG buildup carries risks associated with damage to your plumbing and compromises your health, standing as a common cause of drainage dilemmas.

Avoid pouring oils, fats, or grease down drains; this is a key practice to protect home plumbing. Collect bacon grease, cooking oil, pan drippings, and other FOG in sealed containers to prevent them from entering your drain.

Fats, oils, and grease can easily accumulate in your drainage system but can be prevented with vigilant grease control habits. For clogs, enlist professional plumbing services with expertise in drain cleaning. Powerful equipment can unclog your drain pipes by breaking up and removing heavy FOG deposits.

How to Properly Dispose of Grease and Fat

To pour grease down your sink is one of the direst mistakes for the health of your plumbing. Though liquids when heated, these substances solidify as they cool and coat the insides of pipes. Over time, thick grease and debris buildup deposits accumulate and cause nasty clogs.

To avoid plumbing disasters, employ the following tips on disposing of grease that reflect best practices in food processing:

Collect Grease in Jars or Cans

Ensure that fats, oils, or greases never enter the sink, even in small amounts. Instead, have an empty jar or can on hand when cooking to collect grease.

Soup cans, glass jars or plastic containers are excellent for collecting such food waste like fats and oils. Let the grease solidify before you throw away the contents.

Absorb Small Amounts with Paper Towels

A good practice is to use paper towels to wipe out greasy pans and absorb small amounts of fat or oil. Dispose of used greasy paper towels in the bin to avoid sewer system issues.

Mix Grease with Kitty Litter

Consider when learning about handling larger amounts of grease, mixing it with an absorbent material like kitty litter before discarding. The litter will soak up the grease so it can be thrown away safely.

Put Grease in the Compost

Just as nutrients are vital for your body, small amounts of your food fat grease from cooking can also go into your compost bin or garden soil. However, larger amounts may overwhelm the compost and cause an imbalance, similar to pouring substances into drain improperly.

With vigilant grease control habits, you can avoid expensive plumbing emergencies. Make sure to remind housemates of what people do wrong and to collect grease as well, and refrain from using the sink as a waste bin. Contact a professional plumber if you experience any drain blockages.

Preventing Clogs with Strainers and Scraping Plates

Installing sink strainers is an effective way to stop food particles from washing down drains. Sink strainers, with their small holes, effectively capture scraps, protecting the drain from blockages. They allow water to pass through while trapping debris.

Fit strainers in kitchen sinks to intercept food scraps.

Look for strainer types with a deep basket and a fine mesh screen that can catch items like food particles effectively. Clean out strainers frequently by removing and rinsing trapped contents into the garbage.

Scraping plates is another simple habit to keep septic tank drains clear. Before washing dishes, use a rubber spatula to scrape excess food waste directly into the trash or compost. Prevent food particles from going down your kitchen sink for long term drain health.

Make it a habit to scrape plates after meals to prevent food particles from ending up in the sink. Foods like rice, pasta, egg yolks, and sauces are common drain cloggers. Removing as much as possible ahead of time reduces buildup.

Strainers and scraping work hand-in-hand to catch food waste early. Together, these practises greatly minimise the risk of slow-flowing or blocked drains. Ensure your drainage remains clear by calling a professional plumber for severe clogs from grease accumulation.

Avoid Putting Food Waste Down the Drain

Kitchen sinks are intended for water drainage, not for food disposal; depositing common food scraps down the drain invites plumbing problems. As they accumulate over time, slow drainage and complete blockages occur.

Incorrect disposal of coffee grounds and tea leaves can cause drain blockages.

Wet dough or batter made from flour is also problematic for drain pipes. When flour and water mix, they form a thick, gluey paste that coats pipes. Starches and grease from foods exacerbate clogs by sticking to pipe walls and trapping debris.

Direct food scraps to compost bins or the bin, not the sink. Scrape plates and pots before washing to remove stuck-on bits.

Use sink strainers to catch particles while washing your dishes. Remember that even small amounts can add up.

You might say 'I want to just rinse this off,' but rice grains or coffee grounds, even in small quantities, can lead to significant clogs. But letting these items go down the drain day after day results in major blockages. Get in the habit of collecting vegetable peels, eggshells, tea bags and other food scraps.

Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down drains too. Allow them to cool and solidify before throwing them away. With mindful kitchen habits, you can protect your kitchen sink from plumbing disasters.

Composting Food Scraps for Disposal

Composting at your home or food production facility is a sustainable method that allows food scraps to land into the natural cycle and keeps them out of drains. Instead of sending waste to landfills, composting allows for nutrient recovery.

Fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds tea, and other food particles can be composted rather than washed down the drain. Over time, a nutrient-rich compost is created for use in gardens.

Composting scraps recycles their nutrients back into soil to fertilise plants. It reduces methane emissions from landfills and the need for chemical fertilisers, conserving natural resources. Home compost bins, when maintained properly, contribute positively to water supply management by reducing waste.

In the absence of home composting, place food scraps in green waste bins for municipal composting and sewage treatment. Some councils also offer subsidised compost bins to encourage composting at your home.

Either route keeps food particles from building up and blocking your drainage. Composting provides an eco-friendly alternative to putting scraps down the sink.

Garbage Disposal Best Practices

Garbage disposals can aid in disposing of small food scraps, yet correct operation is crucial to avert plumbing problems. Adopt these best practices for garbage disposal use:

Run Water Continuously

Run cold water before activating the garbage disposal, during, and after use. The water helps drain your kitchen particles efficiently. Without sufficient water flow, waste can stick to pipes and prevent water down drain from flowing freely.

Avoid Fibrous and Starchy Foods

Certain items, especially Dispose of inedible items in the bin, not down the garbage disposal. Fibrous vegetables like celery and artichokes can tangle and clog the unit. Starchy foods and dairy products like pasta, rice and potato peels turn into a thick paste.

Cut Foods Into Small Pieces

Cut or break up food scraps into small pieces before putting them into the drain pipe disposal. Large items are more likely to jam the mechanism, causing blockages in the drain pipes. Allow the unit to finish grinding one batch before adding more.

Alternate Use With Cold Water

After grinding a batch of waste, let the water run for a few seconds to help flush the particles down the drain. Avoid grinding large amounts of food waste all at once.

Clean Disposal Blades Regularly

Remove and clean the splash guard and grind ring periodically to prevent buildup of greasy residue. After disposal use, wash your hands or utilise a brush or cleaning tool designed specifically for this purpose.

When used properly, garbage disposals can be a convenient kitchen appliance. However, Garbage disposals complement, but don’t replace, proper food scrap disposal habits. Excess waste can still quickly clog pipes.

Garbage Disposal Best Practises

Hair Capture Devices to Prevent Clogs

Hair accumulation in bathroom drains is a common cause of clogs. Fortunately, hair capture devices provide an easy solution.

Installing hair catchers or drain screens can help by preventing loose strands of hair debris from entering the plumbing. The small holes in the hair catcher allow water to pass while intercepting hair and soap residue. Hair capture devices should be routinely cleaned by discarding the collected hair.

Using hair strainers helps maintain free-flowing drains and reduces the need for costly drain cleaning.

Plastic or stainless steel mesh hair catchers are affordable and easy to install under sink drain openings. For sinks, circular drains screens fit inside the drain opening. Linear models attach directly to shower drain plates.

With routine cleaning, hair catchers can reduce effectively capture strands and prevent them from clogging pipes. They allow homeowners to take a proactive approach to drain maintenance. Contact a plumber if complete blockages do occur.

Drain Maintenance and Preventative Care

To clean sinks, combine 125 grams of baking soda with 250 millilitres of vinegar, let the mixture fizz, then rinse with boiling water.

Remove drain screens and catchers periodically to dispose of trapped hair and debris. Use a drain snake monthly to remove obstructions before they worsen. Avoid overusing harsh chemical drain cleaners, as these can corrode pipes over time.

Install sink strainers, hair catchers, and floor drains covers to prevent debris from entering plumbing.

Promptly remove any clogs that occur using a plunger or snake. Allowing obstructions to worsen makes removal much more difficult. Contact a professional plumber immediately for severe blockages or backflows.

Regular preventative care can maintain drainage efficiency and longevity. Proper habits avoid the inconvenience of sluggish or clogged drains while protecting plumbing from damage.

Use a drain snake monthly to remove obstructionsr clogs in household drains. When combined, these inexpensive ingredients produce a fizzy chemical reaction that helps break up and dissolve light blockages.

Here are the steps for using baking soda and vinegar to clear simple clogs:

  1. Begin by pouring about 120 grams of baking soda down the blocked drain to neutralise odours and loosen the clog.
  2. Add about 240 millilitres of white vinegar to react with the baking soda, creating a foaming action that aids clog removal.
  3. Let the reaction settle for a few minutes so it can work on breaking up the clog.
  4. Follow up with boiling water to help flush the loosened clog post-reaction.
  5. Repeat as needed for stubborn clogs, waiting 10-15 minutes between treatments to allow the reaction to fully work.

For drains with soap scum or organic material clogs, the reaction between baking soda and vinegar can be highly effective. For large obstructions or severe grease clogs, don’t hesitate to call us; a professional plumber with high-powered equipment is necessary.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Clogs and drainage issues can quickly escalate into plumbing emergencies, especially when there is neglect in regular maintenance.

While DIY methods may work for minor clogs, to understand more about what signals the need for a professional plumber, keep an eye out for signs like tree root intrusions. Consistently sluggish drains, sewer odours in the home, gurgling noises from plumbing fixtures, and overflowing sewage all indicate a severe blockage. If multiple plumbing fixtures are affected, this points to a problem with the main sewer line.

Efforts to clear a serious clog on your own, such as through the repeated use of chemical drain openers, can cause further damage. Our licenced plumbers have the high-powered equipment and expertise to clear even the most stubborn grease or sewage clogs quickly and efficiently.

For significant blockages, promptly contact our skilled team at St Peters Plumbing on 1300 349 338 or jobs@stpetersplumbingservices.com.au. Address plumbing concerns right away; don’t wait for a minor issue to escalate - our preventative maintenance services maintain clear flowing drains.

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