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Don’t ever pour grease down the drain.But why shouldn’t you? Maybe you didn’t grow up hearing the advice, or maybe you’re wondering exactly why you shouldn’t. And more importantly: what if you found all this out too late?
If you’ve got a clog resulting from greasy drains, You will need to call a drain cleaning service to get it removed. And if you wait too long, you may end up needing a plumber to replace your pipes.
Drain Flo Plumbing can help you out if that happens. They offer a drain cleaning service right alongside a full range of services. They’re also available 24/7 if you’ve got emergency plumbing problems that need dealing with.
So why no grease into the drain? A couple of reasons.
1. Your Pipes Get Nasty
Despite what would make sense, grease doesn’t just slide down your drain and make everything else go down easier. If you’ve ever let grease fully cool off in a pan, you’ll know it turns into a solid. That sticky, greasy gunk that’s terrible to get off pans? Imagine that coating your drain pipes. That’s what happens.
Over time, the grease builds up and collects any other debris that washes down your drain. Food particles can contain their own oils, and this builds up in layers inside your drain. Eventually, this keeps your drain from doing its job. It starts getting slow, and finally, it stops draining.
While you can use commercial drain cleaning products at that point, most will put a dent in it. If you continue downing the grease or letting oily food particles wash down, it will get worse.
Left alone, it can cause enough pressure to build up to put cracks in your pipes or cause nearby leaks.
When that does happen, you need to call a drain cleaning service. Drain Flo can fix the problem for people that live in the Clearwater and Tampa, FL areas. A good plumber can also come out to your house and check on clogged drains early. This keeps you from having to pay repair costs later. And they can make sure there’s not a deeper problem.
If you’re a new homebuyer, it also pays to hire a plumber with a drain cleaning service to inspect your drains. This gives you a heads up about any maintenance work that needs to be done soon.
2. Your Septic System Can End Up with Problems
So the grease makes it down the drain, but then what? Like all gray water (waste water that doesn’t come from your toilet or garbage disposal), it ends up in your sewage system. Many homes in and around Tampa, FL use a septic system.
Septic systems contain different types of waste, from gray water to inorganic solids (like synthetic fibers or cotton swabs). These layers are on top of each other, and the septic tank allows it to decompose and filter out. One of the most important parts of your septic system is the septic tank itself. Caring for it is part of an overall maintenance plan for your home. Part of that is having a regular drain cleaning service. But another part is understanding what happens when you need to get it pumped.
Grease and fats form solids that are less dense than water (oil is more dense than alcohols, but less dense than water). Septic levels rise over time and eventually need to be pumped out (something a plumber can do for you aside from just a simple drain cleaning service). When they rise, these globs of fat get pushed to the top. When levels go back down, they form stalactite-like structures that leave less room in your tank. So you end up needing the tank pumped more often.
This is most common in areas with a lot of restaurants. Some don’t dispose of their grease the right way. So it ends up affecting the nearby sewer system.
If you can smell your septic tank, it’s time (or past time) to get it pumped. Tank pumping is recommended for every 3-5 years, normally. If you have fat deposits from pouring grease into your drain, it’ll need it done more often. If you’re keeping your drains clean either on your own or with regular drain cleaning service, that’s something that will need paying for less often. Your nose, your pipes, and your wallet will thank you.
3. What to Do if You’ve Been Pouring Grease Down the Drain
If your drains aren’t running slow or stopped, you may still want to have a plumber with a drain cleaning service to inspect the drain for you. Since food particles can collect on the solid grease and worsen a clog, it’s worth looking into.
If your drain does have a clog, a plumber can take care of that for you too. And help you be educated and prevent it from happening again. A huge part of being a good homeowner and keeping your house in good shape is to be educated. Know how the different parts of your house are supposed to work, and you’ll know if something goes wrong.
And what to do with your grease? If you’re using a lot (say, frying a turkey), there are local services that will dispose of it for you. In some cases, turning it into biofuel. For smaller amounts? A small container (like a coffee can) can store it until it can be thrown away with your trash.
Keeping your drains clean is part of keeping your home working and lasting for years to come. If you need a drain cleaning service, Drain Flo Plumbing can help. Check them out here to give them a call and talk about having an inspection or cleaning done.