The Problem with Clogged Sinks
Clogged sinks are the headache of homeowners everywhere. At a birthday party, a celebration, a family get-together or a book club: that's when something goes wrong. And more often than not, it's a clogged sink. There are numerous reasons why sinks clog up. As the saying goes, "Knowledge is power," and understanding why sinks get clogged is necessary to prevent this issue from occurring.
Dumping Cooking Grease
When cooking for a party or even a family of four, the leftover grease and drippings in the pan can be a pain to clean up. So what do many homeowners decide to do? They pour the hot grease and drippings down the drain, wash it down with some water, and call it good. But it'd be useful to follow the grease down the drain and see what exactly happens to it.
When grease gets poured into the drain of a sink, it starts in a liquid form, seeing as it's piping hot. But as soon as the grease travels down the pipe, it starts to cool off, and when grease cools down, it doesn't stay in its liquid form. Instead, it hardens and eventually becomes solid, similar to the consistency of butter in the fridge.
At this point, the problem is clear. Unless the grease is heated back up to temperature, it will stay right where it cooled down and harden onto the walls of the pipe. With enough grease buildup, the pipe will soon be fully clogged.
Garbage Disposal Woes
Most modern kitchens have a sink where one side contains a garbage disposal. As handy as these inventions are for getting rid of food scraps, they can contribute to some terrible clogs if misused.
Here are some quick tips for using the garbage disposal properly.
- Use with Running Water: Garbage disposals should never run dry. Water helps the disposal work properly and ensures food scraps will go down and get washed out through the unit once they've been chopped up. If water doesn't run down the drain, food can clog into the pipe's disposal or upper areas.
- Never Put Bones In the Drain: Bones and meat are not acceptable food items to place down a disposal. Doing so can lead to jams, breakage, and blockages.
- Avoid Fibrous Material: Fibrous foods such as celery can get tangled around the blades and cause the unit to jam, leading to clogs and breakage.
How Drain Stoppers Can Help
For many homeowners, a common solution to their sink woes is to use drain stoppers. These handy drain covers allow water to flow through the holes, catch food in the bottom, and entirely plug a sink. Still, these can cause some headaches if not used carefully.
Some tips for getting the most use out of a stopper include:
- Make sure they're catching food. Some stoppers have holes too large to catch smaller bits of food like berries or scrapings from a pan of brownies.
- Make sure food from the stopper is dumped into the trash can. Stoppers should never get so full of food that they're backing up the sink.
- Deep clean the stopper weekly. Use a powerful degreaser to clean away any gunk that may have formed.
Reliable, Professional Plumbers
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