Some people are eternal optimists. They think they can toss anything down the kitchen or bathroom drain and not face any consequences. Eventually, they learn the error of their ways when the sink backs up and they have to mortgage the ranch to hire a plumber. The fact is, garbage disposals have their limits, and some of the material that washes past the disposal will clog your pipes. If the foreign materials in your drains are far enough down, or of a consistency that’s difficult to unclog, the problem can become immense.
So what exactly shouldn’t you put in the drain?
- Used cooking oil, animal fat and other types of grease — Over time, grease will congeal in your pipes, and become very difficult to extract. Just because it’s flowing easily when you slurp it into the drain doesn’t mean it won’t thicken up later. Store used cooking oil in coffee cans, seal tightly and dispose in the trash.
- Coffee grounds and eggshells — Mixed with water, this stuff gets heavy and clogs pipes. Throw them away or use as fertilizer in the garden.
- Beans, pasta, and potatoes — These materials, if they get past your disposal, will convert into a thick paste-like material when mixed with water.
- Hair, nails, etc. — In the bathroom, accumulated hair will clog drains over time. Throw hair cuttings and fingernail clippings into the trash.
To avoid paying big plumbing bills to unclog or repair your plumbing, place a metal strainer in the drain on the side of the sink with a disposal. Empty it into the trash frequently. If you do end up getting a clogged drain, however, your best bet is to call in a professional plumber to deal with the problem. Untrained amateurs may cause more damage when attempting to clear their pipes.
For help unclogging your kitchen or bathroom drains, or for any plumbing issue, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries, providing quality plumbing and HVAC services to the Greater Calgary area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about plumbing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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