Do you plan on cooking a large meal this holiday season? Chances are that if you came across this blog post and chose to read it, then you are! Great, we applaud your efforts. You should know, however, the holiday season is when professional plumbers get the most calls. Guess what those calls are for? For the most part, kitchen sink drain clogs and jammed or broken garbage disposal systems.
We get it, cooking a holiday meal is a big ordeal, and you don’t always have the time to think about what you are or are not putting down your drain. But we implore you to consider it, as needing to call a plumber on Thanksgiving is definitely going to make a big ordeal even more inconvenient. Read on as we uncover what not to put down your kitchen sink drain this holiday season!
What is FOG? No, we aren’t talking about the kind of fog you drive through to get to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. We are referring to F.O.G–fats, oils, and grease. In other words, the byproducts of all the cooking you plan to do this holiday season.
It may seem safe to pour these down the drain. What’s the worst that can happen? Well, the problem is that as FOG cools down, it hardens and congeals. It doesn’t just flow through your pipes at this point–it sticks to the inside walls, building clogs and backups in the meantime.
Instead of putting fog down the drain, we encourage you to pour it into a tin can or some other disposable container, and after it cools and hardens, throw it away.
Hard Food Items
A good rule of thumb to live by here is if you can’t chew it, it shouldn’t go down your kitchen sink drain. Sure, you may have a garbage disposal system in place. But your disposal system is not indestructible!
Things like meat bones, fruit pits, popcorn kernels, and other solid food products like this need to go in the trash can as they can actually damage the garbage disposal. Not to mention, they can get lodged in the drainpipe of your kitchen sink if they do happen to make it past the garbage disposal.
Anything That Expands with Water
This includes rice, pasta, and coffee grounds, namely. They’re all pretty soft, so you probably don’t see the issue. But the thing is, as they absorb water they swell more and can cause quite a problem if they get caught up in your drain pipe.
Potato Skins and Eggshells
In small amounts, your garbage disposal can “chew up” potato skins and eggshells just fine. But we’re talking about when you’re scrambling up a couple of eggs for your Sunday breakfast or you’re peeling a potato for you and your spouse to share.
If your Thanksgiving meal includes a dozen eggs or peeling a whole bag of potatoes, please don’t try to put all the byproducts down your kitchen sink at once. Your disposal system can’t handle it all at once and will get jammed, plus whatever does make its way through to the drainpipe will build up and cause a clog.