Every year around this time we get numerous calls for clogged kitchen sinks. After that tryptophan from your turkey kicks in, it’s easy to just dump your food into the sink and settle in on the couch. And letting a little bit of the wrong food down the sink won’t cause any problems, right? Wrong. Not properly scraping your dinner plates could end up costing you later down the line. Yes, even if you have a garbage disposal. Here is a list of some things that you should never put down your drain.
Fats, Oil, and Grease
There is a reason these 3 are at the top of the list. It is estimated that up to 50% of all sewer overflows that happen in the United States each year can be attributed to these three substances. The fats and oils attach to the inside of your pipes and often solidify as they cool. Not only that, but they act as a binder that can trap food particles and other substances until your drain is completely blocked. The best thing to do is throw them into a jar or can to allow them to cool and then place them in the trash.
Flour, Bread and Pasta
Your drain pipe has a fixed width. If you put any of these three down the drain, they’ll continues to absorb liquid and swell, taking up more space than you could have predicted. They can quickly become too big to fit down your pipes and in turn cause a major back up. If your pipes are coated with fat or grease they will grab onto them as you try to rinse everything down. If you want to avoid having your kitchen sink clogged past the trap, you should avoid putting these substances down the drain.
Don’t do it. I know it’s hard when you are cleaning out those reusable k cups, but those tasty little coffee bits can be a huge problem for your pipes. When coffee grounds are wet they become compacted and this can lead to those grounds getting stuck and compacting themselves inside your pipes. Once these collect together, you’re going to need a plumber’s help.
You might not believe that eggshells could do much harm, but when you send them down the drain, the garbage disposal grinds them up into small bits and then they get stuck in grease and fat and other oily substances to create a thick mess that can easily clog your pipes. You’re better off disposing of your eggshells by putting them in the trashcan or in your garden to feed your roses.
It only takes a few to clog a drain, and since they’re starchy, they will easily clump together and turn into something like a paste. Fortunately, you can be sure this never happens by not letting your peels get near your drain. Make sure they make their way to the trash or you can roast them and make a tasty snack.
This one is kind of a no-brainer, but it happens more often than you would think. No matter how good your garbage disposal is, it’s best to keep your bones away from them. Your disposal may chop them into smaller pieces to fit down your sink, but once these tiny bones meet the oil and grease waiting for them, they’ll be best friends, hanging onto each other and causing your sink to get backed up pretty quickly.
Stickers? Yes, stickers. Your produce from the grocery store comes with cute little sticky barcodes on them. And if you aren’t careful when prepping your groceries, these barcodes can end up down your drain. Even the little bit of adhesive that’s on them can be enough to get them stuck to the insides of the pipes. If they make it past your pipes, they can get into wastewater treatment pipes and filters causing problems with the equipment designed to treat your water. If they happen to make it past both of these barriers, they can end up in the water supply.
These hard little nuggets will get grinded into small bits by your disposal but then attach to everything else waiting for them down the drain. Think of tiny little rocks in sticky mud. Just say no to pits down the drain.
Sending medications through your pipes won’t likely clog them, but no one wants your medicine in their water supply. At one time we were told to flush unused medications down the drain. Sadly, this practice has resulted in all kinds of medications, everything from birth control to pain killers, ending up in our water supply. The best way to dispose of most types of old, unused, unwanted, or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site or event near you.
Even with the utmost caution, everyone experiences a clogged sink at some point in their life. Nobody wants a kitchen sink clogged with sitting water, but it’s generally easy to avoid. While we hope your clog is easily fixed with a plunger, we realize that’s not always the case and Pridemark Plumbing is here to help you avoid expensive sink repairs. Having a reputable and trusted plumbing company when you need them is not only necessary, but convenient. You don’t want to search through the yellow pages with your fingers crossed. Call a plumber you can trust to get the job done right. In the unfortunate circumstance that you do find yourself with a clogged drain, Pridemark Plumbing is here to help.