The Essential Plumbing Resource For Homeowners

What If You've Been Putting Grease Down Your Drains?

Have you been putting grease down your drains? People are often advised not to do this. Plumbers mention it when they install plumbing, and many landlords tell their tenants not to put grease down the drains. But maybe this advice got past you—or you have a teenage son or daughter who didn't know any better than to put grease down the drain. What should you do? Well, your first step should be to stop putting grease down the drain. Then, you'll want to call a plumber. That plumber can then perform one or more of the following services.

Sewer Pipe Inspection 

Your plumber may start by sending a camera down your home's sewer lines and drain lines. This way, they will be able to see areas where the grease has begun to stick to the sides of the pipes. They'll identify the areas where the grease buildup is the thickest, and they'll get an idea of how extensive the buildup is. The plumber will usually show you footage from the camera. If you have a family member who has been stubborn about not putting grease down the drain, sharing this footage with them can help drive your point home.

Hydro jetting

Once your plumber knows where the grease buildup is, they will likely use a tool called a hydro jet to blast the buildup away. A hydro jet is a powerful tool that basically blasts water wherever you aim it. The water stream is strong enough to free the grease from the sides of the pipes, but not strong enough to damage or crack the pipes.

A hydro jet can be used on smaller pipes associated with single drains, and also in larger pipes, such as your main sewer line. This makes it a good tool for freeing grease clogs, which can appear in pipes of any size.

Vent Cleanout

Another problem caused by putting grease down the drain is blocked sewer vents. The grease rises to the top of any water put down the drain. Therefore, it may rise into the vents, adhere to them, and contribute to blockages. A plumber can put either a snake or an auger down the vents to clear away this buildup. Doing so will ensure air still has a place to go so your drains keep draining freely.

If you've been putting grease down the drains, now is the time to change. Start putting your grease in the trash, and call a local plumbing service, such as Spartan Plumbing Inc.