What causes a clogged kitchen sink?

Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, it is not wise to put everything down the drain, unless you want a clogged kitchen sink.

Unfortunately, some people think so.   And, unfortunately, it could cost you for indiscriminately washing everything down the drain.

On the other hand, properly disposing of kitchen waste costs you nothing. 

To keep your drain free and clear of unnecessary debris and working as it should, avoid tossing these items into either your garbage disposal or down the drain.

Grease

When food grease (and cooking oils) is in liquid form, it usually flows quite nicely.  But only so far.  Then it coagulates, hardens, and eventually clogs.  It might not clog for a while; however, other particles will stick in the solidified grease.  Eventually the other waste particles, stuck in the grease, will clog your drain. 

While running hot water down the drain helps keep it in liquid form, it eventually cools and builds up, albeit downstream further than if you didn’t run hot water with it.  Regardless, you are dramatically increasing the likelihood of having a clog.

Better to dispose of grease in a sealed container or Ziplok® food storage bag and place it in the trash.

Image courtesy AngiesList.com

Some foods just don’t go down the drain easily

Cereal, bread scraps, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes.  While all of these are tasty and good for you, they are not good for the drain.  Many of the above listed items expand when mixed with water.  They also can dissolve to the point of becoming paste-like.  When this happens, it all sticks to the inside of your drain pipe, restricting flow, and then eventually clogging everything up.

Do you compost?  Better to place these items in your compost container.  You don’t compost?  Again, as in the previous section regarding grease, place these offending items in a sealed container or Ziplok® food storage bag and place it in the trash.

Eggshells and coffee grounds

Again, like above, these items can get heavy when mixed with water, thus not easily flowing down your drain.  Composting, spreading around your landscape plantings, or properly disposing of them in the trash is a better alternative to washing them down the drain.

Foreign objects

Virtually everyone has had the experience of losing something (or having their child flush something) down the drain that does not belong there.  Small objects, jewelry, etc. sometimes end up down the drain and in no time you have a clog.

What about liquid drain cleaners?

More often than not, they don’t work.  Or, they only work a little bit.  You will most likely end up calling the plumber anyway.  And, when you end up calling the plumber, there is an increased risk of burn injury because of drain cleaner residue in the sink trap.  When the plumber has to take it apart, that is when a splatter injury can occur.  If you used drain cleaner, please be sure to tell your plumbing service technician that you did so he/she can be prepared for potential splatter injury.

 

For any drain or other plumbing problems, please set up a service call request with us at Brubaker Inc. at 717.299.5641 or email us.


Sources and additional reading:

1. 3 Common Causes of a Clogged Kitchen Sink DoItYourself.com
2. What Causes a Clogged Kitchen Sink? AngiesList.com
3. What can I put in my garbage disposal?
4. Don’t Let FOG ruin your Holiday
5. ‘Fats, Oils, and Grease Disposal’ Ask HR Green
6. ‘Composting at Home’ United States EPA