Blocked drains are a common plumbing problem that homeowners face, but a few simple tips can help you avoid them. Whether you are cooking, cleaning, or washing dishes, use these tips in the kitchen to avoid a plumbing disaster.
1. Collect Cooking Fat
One of the biggest mistakes people make in the kitchen is pouring their cooking oil or grease down the drain. Although hot fat is liquid, it quickly solidifies once it enters the cold pipes and can form a blockage that you may need a plumber to remove. Instead of tipping leftover cooking grease into the sink, collect it in a container so you can dispose of it with your solid household waste once it has fully cooled.
2. Keep Eggshells Out of Your Garbage Disposal
Even if your kitchen sink features a garbage disposal to grind up solid waste, it's best to keep eggshells out of it. Whereas other types of food waste, such as vegetable skins, are soft enough for the garbage disposal to grind into sludge, eggshells are likely to splinter into small fragments that hang around in your pipes and mix with other substances to form clogs. They also don't degrade as quickly as soft food waste, which means they can form a long-term hazard for your plumbing.
3. Add Coffee Grounds to the Compost Pile
Coffee grounds are another kitchen staple that should never enter your home's plumbing system. The gritty texture of wet coffee grounds allows them to combine with grease, eggshell fragments, and other substances lurking in your pipes to form a blockage. However, there's one part of the home that loves coffee grounds, and that's the garden! By adding coffee grounds to your compost pile, you can enrich the soil with nutrients that plants need to grow.
4. Flush the Pipes
Occasionally, traces of grease or scraps of food waste will make their way into your plumbing system. This is difficult to avoid, but you can take action to minimize the damage to your pipes. Simply run the hot water to prevent fat from cooling and solidifying in the pipes. The water should flush most debris out of your plumbing system and down into the sewer.
5. Cover the Plug Hole
When you're peeling vegetables or washing salad over the sink, it can be tricky to stop small scraps of waste from sneaking down the drain. A plug hole cover can catch this debris, allowing you to scoop it out and throw it in the trash. You can buy this handy gadget at a homeware or hardware store.