The holidays are here, and that means your kitchen sink is in for quite the workout. Dirty dishes galore and all those food scraps are going to make their way into the sink in the wake of gatherings and family feasts, putting the drain in some serious danger. But our friendly Arroyo Grande plumbers have come up with three tips to avoid holiday drain drama.
Here’s what you should know:
1. What Not to Put Down the Drain
Most kitchen sinks have garbage disposals these days, but that doesn’t mean anything can or should be shoved in there. A good rule of thumb when it comes to the disposal is stick to small food particles, not plates full of leftovers.
There are some things that should never go down the disposal. Here’s a good list:
Liquid fats, oils or grease. They solidify as they cool and cling to the insides of pipes, building into a clog-inducing paste.
Eggshells. Their edges catch other items and grow into larger clogs.
Coffee grounds. They stick to pipe walls and build into a paste when crammed into small areas.
Fibrous food: Veggies like celery and onion skins are tough to grind up and can get stringy and wrap themselves around the blades.
2. Know Drain Cleaning Best Practices
Chemical drain cleaners may seem like an easy answer. Unscrew the bottle, pour it down the drain and, voila, no more clog. But while those harsh liquid chemicals may eat right through a nasty clog, they can also do the same thing to your pipes.
DIY techniques such as pouring scalding hot water down the drain, followed by cool water, is a good way to flush out any debris without damage.
For something a little more powerful, you can use baking soda and vinegar. Just pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with a half cup of vinegar. Then flush the drain with hot water and it will flow – and smell – like new.
Give your drains this treatment once a month, and you’ll likely never have to worry about clogs.
3. Have Tools on Hand
If a clog does happen, and baking soda and vinegar isn’t doing the trick, you’ll have to turn to more drastic measures that involve a little elbow grease with these three tools: an auger, a snake and a plunger.
A plunger is good for smaller clogs up higher in the line. Snakes and augers actually get down into the pipes and break up whatever debris is causing the clog.
Sometimes, unfortunately, holiday drain drama is unavoidable, and clogs are going to be stubborn and downright Grinchy. If that’s the case, our festive Arroyo Grande plumbers are here when you need them and are just a call or click away!