Cooking with oil or grease is a common practice in many households, but what happens to the leftover grease after cooking? Pouring grease down the drain may seem like an easy solution, but it’s actually a dangerous practice that can lead to serious consequences. In this blog post, we’ll explore why you should never pour grease down the drain, the potential consequences, and how to properly dispose of the grease.
Why You Shouldn’t Pour Grease Down the Drain
When hot grease is poured down the drain, it can cause a number of problems. For starters, the grease can solidify as it cools, which leads to a number of potential problems. This can be especially problematic if the grease accumulates over time, as it can create a buildup that eventually leads to a full-on blockage. Once a blockage occurs, it can be difficult and expensive to fix, usually resulting in needing a plumber to come and clear the drain.
In addition to clogs, pouring grease down the drain can also damage your plumbing system as a whole. Grease can coat the inside of pipes, causing them to become sticky and attract other materials like food particles, hair, and other debris. Over time, this can also lead to a buildup that can eventually cause the pipes to corrode or even burst.
Perhaps even more concerning, however, is the impact that pouring grease down the drain can have on the environment. When grease enters the sewer system, it can mix with other chemicals and materials, creating a toxic and hazardous combination. This can harm wildlife and pollute waterways, leading to serious environmental damage.
What to do After Grease Blocks Your Drains
When grease causes a blockage in your pipes, it can lead to a number of problems. Water may start to back up in your sinks or toilets, and you may notice that water is draining more slowly than usual. In severe cases, you may even experience sewage backups, which can be extremely unpleasant and unsanitary.
If you suspect that grease has caused a blockage in your pipes, it’s important to act quickly to resolve the issue. Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem:
Step 1: Stop using your sinks and toilets
The first step in fixing a blockage caused by grease is to stop using your sinks and toilets. This will prevent any more water or waste from entering the pipes and making the problem worse.
Step 2: Try a plunger
If the blockage is minor, you may be able to clear it using a plunger. Make sure to use a plunger that is designed for use on sinks or toilets, depending on where the blockage is located. Place the plunger over the drain and pump it up and down vigorously to create suction. If the blockage is causing water to back up, you may need to use a bucket or other container to remove the excess water before plunging.
Step 3: Use a drain snake
If a plunger doesn’t work, you may need to use a drain snake to clear the blockage. A drain snake is a long, flexible tool that can be inserted into the drain to break up and remove the blockage. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and be gentle when using the snake to avoid causing damage to your pipes.
Step 4: Call a professional plumber
If you’re unable to clear the blockage on your own, or if you’re not comfortable attempting to do so, it’s best to call a professional plumber. A plumber will have the tools and expertise needed to clear the blockage safely and effectively, without causing any damage to your pipes.
Properly Disposing of Grease
Now that we’ve established why you should never pour grease down the drain, let’s explore some of the proper ways to dispose of it.
Option 1: Let it cool and solidify, then throw it away
One simple way to dispose of grease is to let it cool and solidify, then throw it away in the trash. To do this, simply allow the grease to cool in the pan or skillet, then use a spoon or spatula to scrape it into a container with a lid. Once the container is full, you can throw it away with your regular garbage.
Option 2: Reuse it
If you’re someone who cooks with grease frequently, you may be able to reuse it a few times before it needs to be disposed of. To do this, simply strain the grease through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any food particles or debris, then transfer it to a clean container. Make sure to store the container in a cool, dry place to prevent the grease from going rancid.
Option 3: Recycle it
Another option for disposing of grease is to recycle it. Many cities have programs that allow residents to recycle cooking oil and grease, which can then be turned into biodiesel fuel or other products. Check with your local recycling center or waste management department to see if they offer this service.
Option 4: Use a grease trap
If you’re a restaurant owner or someone who produces a large amount of grease on a regular basis, you may want to consider using a grease trap. A grease trap is a plumbing device that captures grease before it enters the sewer system, preventing clogs and blockages. These devices need to be cleaned regularly, so make sure to check with your local regulations on proper maintenance and disposal.
Contact White’s Plumbing Today
In conclusion, pouring grease down the drain is never a good idea. It can cause clogs and blockages in the pipes, damage your plumbing system, and harm the environment. Instead, opt for one of the proper ways to dispose of grease, such as letting it cool and solidify, reusing it, recycling it, or using a grease trap. By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your plumbing system, the environment, and your wallet from costly repairs.
If you are dealing with the consequences of putting grease down a drain too many times or have more questions about this topic near the Youngsville, North Carolina area, contact White’s Plumbing today. Our expert plumbing staff have the knowledge and experience to get your blocked pipes cleared and working like new again.