What Shouldn’t Go Down the Kitchen Drain
The holidays are fast approaching when many of us will be gathered together to enjoy a wide variety of festive meals with friends and family. This may also be the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when more cooking is done at home than at any other time.
It can also be the time when we rinse or pour more stuff down our drains. In many cases it is items that can damage our drains and lead to high plumbing repair bills. Being aware of what we should and shouldn’t be sending down our drains, can ensure that our holiday cooking and clean up won’t contribute to future drain problems.
Here’s What is OK to Go Down Your Drain
- Soft foods: Your garbage disposal can handle easily chopped up foods
- Liquids: Non caustic liquids should flow easily
- Vegetables: Non-fibrous vegetable scraps
- Leftovers: Let the garbage disposal take care of food scraps from your plate.
- Grease, Oils and Fats: To avoid having liquid grease harden in your drain, pour it into a container until it hardens and then toss it in the trash.
- Paper Towels: Absorbent paper towels will expand in your drain
- Pasta: Toss leftover pasta in the trash. Pasta will gum your drain.
- Flour: Flour mixes with the water in your sink to make a gooey paste.
- Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds do not easily rinse down your drain leading to slow flowing water.
- Rice: Grains of rice expand and create clogs in your drain
- Fruit Pits: Pits from peaches or avocados, or any types of seeds including unpopped popcorn kernels. These are too hard for your garbage disposal to chop up.
- Eggshells: In addition to dulling your garbage disposal blades, the shells can attach to the sides of the drain creating areas for other debris to collect.
- Potato Peels: The starch found in potatoes will coat your drain and lead to future clogs.
- Seafood shells: Crab, lobster or shrimp shells can easily get stuck in your drain.
- Turkey/Chicken Bones: Small turkey and chicken bones have the same impact as seafood shells. They can get caught in the drain and catch other scraps leading to bigger problems.
- Produce Stickers: Those little produce stickers don’t dissolve in water and can clog your pipes. Peel them off before you wash your fruit and dispose of them properly.
Several of the items noted in this list are not thought of by many as items that would cause drain problems. Being aware of what items can and cannot be rinsed down your kitchen drain is the first step in avoiding future problems, followed by being vigilant about what cooking and food items you toss in your sink.
One other note is to use lots of water when running your garbage disposal. This ensures all food residue is rinsed down the drain.
How Do You Know You Have a Drain Problem?
It is generally easy to spot a problem with your drains. The first indication is that water is draining slower than usual in your kitchen sink. If you don’t address the problem, eventually it will stop draining altogether indicating that a clog has blocked a portion of the drainpipe.
At this point you can start by trying to dissolve the clog using a commercially available drain cleaner or run a “snake” down the pipe to clear the blockage. If all this fails, then you’ll need to contact a professional plumber with the right tools and expertise to clear your drain line.
Let Us Know If We Can Help
Give Brenneco Plumbing a call at 765-448-6190 if we can be of any help.