Why Grease in Your Drain Lines can Wreak Havoc on Your Plumbing Systems

Grease in the Drain Lines Can Create Major Home Plumbing Disasters

Our emergency plumbing team deals with clogged drains 24 hours a day, all year round. We have found that in many of these emergencies, some proper prevention may have reduced the potential for a backup. We use oil frequently to prepare delicious meals for our daily family meals or gatherings. Everything goes well until it’s time to dispose of the grease, and we decide to pour it down the drain because it’s what everyone does. What people don’t realize is that grease causes major plumbing issues. So, whenever you need to dispose of grease, think twice about letting it into your drains.

Why Grease in Your Drain Lines can Wreak Havoc on Your Plumbing Systems

Why Letting Grease Into Your Drains Is a Bad Idea

Heated grease flows easily and can be poured into the drain. However, grease freezes in low temperatures, creating a stubborn clog to clear. The issue might not be evident immediately, but eventually, the grease builds up in your pipelines, resulting in a blockage and more drainage issues. The issue grows bigger if the grease runs into the sewers rather than sticking to your pipes. Here, waste oil from all the nearby homes and eateries joins. These grease deposits degrade with time to produce fatty acids and glycerol.

In the drains, the fatty acids combine with calcium to create fatbergs, substances resembling soap. The fatbergs stick to the drainage ceilings as the sewage level rises, where they enlarge and finally block the entire sewer line. Only the width of the drain pipe can restrict how big a fatberg can get. A 300-foot fatberg was purportedly discovered in Boston by a reputable plumbing company. It took the restoration team over eight weeks to cut through this enormous amount of fat.

How Then Should You Dispose of Grease?

Any fat or oil, even when liquid at room temperature, should not go down your drain. Knowing how to dispose of grease properly will save you from the agony of a blocked sewer.

Liquid Oil

While most people believe that pouring cooking oil inside hot water and then disposing of it through the sink cannot cause harm to sewers, it is a misconception. The best way to dispose of such is to use paper towels to soak up the oils and throw them in the dustbin. If the oil is in excess and it doesn’t seem reasonable to dispose of using paper towels, save it for use next time. You can also pour the leftover oil into a disposable can and then dump it in the trash can. Don’t be tempted to put the greasy waste into a garbage disposal, as it will eventually find its way into the sewer lines.

Fats/ Grease

Hold off until the fat in the pan cools and solidifies. After that, scrape the fat with a spatula and discard it in a dustbin. To remove residual oil or fat from the pan, wipe with a paper towel. You can additionally get rid of the oil by pouring it into a container and later throwing it into the dustbin. 

What If I Already Poured Grease Down the Drain?

Once grease enters the drains, it is difficult to get it out. However, you can get the grease out of your drain pipes by running hot water mixed with dish soap down the lines. This is not a perfect solution because grease will eventually land in the main sewer lines and cause a clog after accumulation. When in doubt, calling a professional plumber might not be a bad idea to have your drain lines inspected and potentially cleaned out.