Let’s face it: the plumbing in your kitchen can take quite a beating. This is especially true during the holidays. Big meals for big parties can mean big clogs in your kitchen sink, and big clogs can mean big trouble in the form of a plumbing catastrophe.
Fortunately, though, there are a few tips and tricks to avoid plumbing catastrophes. For instance, think of all the random food scraps you may try to wash down your sink while cooking – avoid doing this!
Food scraps are the cause of a majority of plumbing clogs in your kitchen. Fats, greases, and oils can quickly solidify once cooled. Fibrous foods such as fruit and vegetable peels are difficult to wash down a drain. Starchy foods such as rice and pasta become swollen and sticky when immersed in water. All of these can quickly block and clog pipes, so avoid draining them down your sink.
For the sake of your home’s plumbing, dispose of food scraps in the trash. To dispose of fats and greases, allow the grease to cool after cooking, then wipe the grease from the pan with a paper towel and simply throw away.
What if your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal, as many homes do these days? Garbage disposals are designed to chop food up, indeed making it easier to wash food scraps down your sink. However, garbage disposals aren’t invincible, and can create even more problems if they’re overwhelmed with grease and scraps.
Fibrous or starchy food scraps, such as celery or other veggies and fruits, can quickly plug up a garbage disposal. Other foods scraps such as poultry skins or bones can cause even bigger clogs, so they should never be put down a disposal either. Fats and greases can clog up just as quickly in a garbage disposal as well. Avoid putting these sorts of scraps down your sink disposal.
Garbage disposals work best when they’re not overworked. Remember to run cool water down your disposal whenever operating, which helps to wash the food scraps thoroughly down the drain. Larger scraps are also more likely to create a clog, so avoid putting bigger scraps down the drain all at once.
Regularly cleaning your disposal also helps to avoid plumbing problems, and it’s even relatively easy to do. Simply grind ice cubes with lemon or orange rinds in your disposal for about 30 seconds, which both cleans the disposal, and also helps to eliminate any funky odors that may have been residing in the disposal as well. Rinse the disposal out with cool water while running for another 30 seconds – this helps to wash away remaining scraps and debris out of the disposal.
If your disposal ever stops working, the problem may be as easy as hitting the reset button. Just turn the disposal’s power switch off, and look under the sink at the disposal unit. Somewhere on the unit (usually toward the bottom) there should be a reset button, which resets the disposal’s circuit. Often, this simple push of a button can restore power to your disposal. If power is not restored to your disposal, you may have a bigger problem, such as a clogged or broken disposal. If this is the case, we recommend having your plumbing serviced by a professional.
Speaking of which…did we mention we at RMCat are experienced plumbing professionals? That’s right – we can help with clogged pipes, frozen pipes, leaky pipes, and any other sort of plumbing problem. We’re also ready respond to plumbing emergencies any time of the year, day or night. We are here to help you – even on Christmas!
To contact Rocky Mountain Catastrophe, call us at (970) 722-7744 or email [email protected].