Don’t Pour Fats, Oils, and Grease Down the Drain: Here’s What to Do Instead
It’s easy to pour fats, oils, and grease down the drain when you’re in a hurry – but it’s one of the worst things you can do for your drainage system. These substances can clog your pipes and cause serious damage over time. The EPA estimates there are at least 23,000 – 75,000 Sewage Overflows per year (not including sewage backups into buildings) in the U.S., and 47% of them are caused by FOG related. Keep reading to learn why it’s important not to pour them down the drain and what you should do instead.
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are one of the most common causes of sewer backups and overflows
When these substances are poured down the drain, they can build up on the inside of sewer pipes, eventually causing a blockage that requires calling a plumber for services like drain cleaning, hyrdo jetting, sewer pipe descaling or worst case scenario a broken sewer pipe repair. As more wastewater is sent down the line, it puts pressure on the blockage, leading to a backup. In some cases, the blockage can be severe enough to cause an overflow, spilling sewage onto the ground or into homes and businesses.
Some Common Substances That Contain Fats, Oils, or Grease
- Cooking oil
- Bacon grease
- Food scraps
If you use any of these substances in your home, it’s essential to dispose of them properly.
(FOG) Contributes to Bigger Issues for Your Neighbors, City and Environment
You may not realize it, but when you pour fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the drain, you’re contributing to big problems for your neighbors, your city, and the environment. For example, FOG can build up in main sewer lines and cause them to clog. Sewage can back up into people’s homes and businesses or even overflow into streets and rivers when this happens. Not only is this a huge health hazard, but it’s also costly for cities to clean up. So next time you’re tempted to pour cooking grease down the drain, think about the bigger picture and dispose of it properly instead.
What Happens When (FOG) Builds Up In Pipes
When warm fats, oils, and grease are poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet, they don’t have to travel very far through your pipes before forming along the pipe walls with other debris and chemicals. Over time, this buildup will constrict the pipe, causing a decrease in water flow and leading to drainage problems. In addition, as the fat hardens, it will trap food particles and other debris, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. As a result, restaurants and other commercial kitchens are required by law to dispose of cooking oil and grease in special containers. However, even at home, these FOG deposits could cause future sewer backups in your home, condominium, restaurant, or other building.
Buildup In pipes can cause the following issues:
- Slow drains
- Complete blockages
- Sewage backups
- Severe reduction in pipe flow capacity
- Growth and exposure of disease-carrying bacteria
- Unnecessary expensive repairs
- Environmental damage and contamination of water sources
To prevent costly plumbing repairs, always dispose of FOG properly
You can do a few things to prevent FOG buildup in your pipes. First, don’t pour it down the drain! Instead, collect it in a sealable jar or container and dispose of it in the trash.
You should never pour FOG down the drain, even if you’re using hot water. The hot water can actually cause the grease to cool and solidify on the inside of your pipes, leading to a blockage.
You can also help by scraping FOG off of dishes, pans, and cooking utensils into the trash before washing them.
Many cities have special collection facilities for used cooking oil, or you can mix it with other solid waste before throwing it away.
Restaurants and Some Commercial Buildings Should Use a Grease Trap to Control FOG
If you own or operate a restaurant or other commercial building that uses cooking oil, it’s important to have a grease trap installed. A grease trap is a device that captures fats, oils, and greases FOG before they can enter the sewer system. FOG can cause serious problems in sewers, including clogs, backups, and overflows. A grease trap will help control FOG and keep your sewer system running smoothly. There are two main types of grease traps: gravity and interceptor. Gravity grease traps are typically installed under sinks, while interceptor grease traps are larger devices installed outside of the building. If you’re unsure which type of grease trap is right for your business, a plumbing professional can help you choose the best option.
Don’t Let Grease Clog Your Plumbing Lines
While FOG may not seem like a big deal, it is important to dispose of it properly to prevent costly repairs and other problems. So next time you’re tempted to pour cooking grease down the drain, think about the bigger picture and dispose of it in the trash instead.
We Can Help Get Your Drains Moving Again
Are you dealing with a slow-moving drain or clogged sewer? If so, then it’s time to call in the professionals. Here at Canyon Hills Plumbing, we have the tools and experience necessary to quickly clear away any blockages and get your drains flowing freely again. So, we’ll make short work of it, whether there’s a buildup of grease, soap scum, hair, or anything else. And because we understand that drain issues can be a major inconvenience, we offer emergency service for those times when you need us most. So don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We’ll have your drains flowing like new in no time.
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