Plumbing issues are always a headache. A major source of stress: drain clogs. From hair in the tub to toilet troubles, clogs happen frequently. But so many of them happen in the heart of the home–the kitchen. Why? Fat, oil and grease get into drain pipes from daily cooking and cleaning. Luckily, grease clogs are easy to detect and fix.
You’re rinsing the dinner dishes, and the sink rapidly fills up like a bathtub. So, you turn the water off to let the drain do its job. Ten minutes later, it finishes emptying. Or, you enter your kitchen and are greeted by a mysterious odor. The trash is empty and nothing is expired in the refrigerator. Head over to the sink, and ugh! Grease clogs are likely culprits in both scenarios.
Grease accumulates in sink drains from a variety of sources. The main source comes from improperly disposed fat, oil and grease from skillets. Did you have bacon for breakfast? Trim the fat from last night’s chicken? Even if you have a disposal, wipe cookware prior to rinsing with hot water and be sure to toss fat trimmings into the trash. Keep an eye on the cleaning products you use, too. Most soaps are made from vegetable or animal fats, which can and will accumulate in drain pipes.
Now that you know what’s causing your drain problems, how the heck do you fix it? While plungers or pipe snakes are solid standbys, a few other DIY methods might also do the trick.
Often used to unclog toilets, this strategy works just as well for sinks by softening the obstruction (in this case, solidified grease). Run the water for a few minutes to ensure that the grease breaks down and passes through the pipes, otherwise it may get stuck and resolidify.
Cleaning products with sodium hydroxide are more aggressive than hot water or foaming cleaners, but effective. That’s because caustic products with this compound are corrosive and break away debris that cause clogs. Pour the cleaner into a sink filled with standing water and let it sit. The cleaner will gradually loosen the blockage, draining the water as it works its magic. Note that this method should be used sparingly, as caustic products may eventually corrode the drain pipes.
Vinegar and baking soda
A grease clog remedy and cleaner 2-in-1, the combination of vinegar and baking soda packs a mean punch. This strategy adds to the simple hot water method for truly stubborn clogs. Start with boiling water, dumping it down the drain. Follow this with equal parts baking soda and vinegar (usually about a cup of each). Wait a few minutes and repeat the boiling water step. Baking soda and vinegar create a reaction which loosens clogged debris. Voila.
While you have plenty of DIY clog solutions at your disposal, sometimes you just need a pro. Call on Terry’s Plumbing hydro jetting services to fix the most complex drain clogs. Think powerwashing–for your pipes. We blast 4000 pounds per square inch (psi) of water through the affected pipes, which flushes grease, sand and debris out of the system. Sound like the best solution for you? Get in touch today to discuss your plumbing needs.