The holidays are approaching quickly, which means many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing meals and treats for family and friends. It is very easy to let food scraps go down the kitchen sink drain, but there are many foods that should NEVER go down your drain, even if you have a garbage disposal.
To help keep your holiday celebrations from being interrupted due to plumbing issues, do not put the following items down your drain:
1. Grease, fat and oils
These three things seem to be the trifecta of most kitchen plumbing issues. They act as a binder for all sorts of materials and can coat your pipes until nothing can pass through them. We encourage clients to put bacon grease, meat fat and other substances similar to then into a can or jar to allow them to cool and then put in your trash.
2. Coffee Grounds
Over time coffee grounds can get stuck in your garbage disposal and build up in your pipes, which can lead to a serious clog over time – which is fairly common!
Eggshells may seem harmless, but when the garbage disposal grinds them up, they can get stuck to fat, grease and oils to create a thick mess that can easily clog your pipes.
4. Rice & Pasta
Starchy foods like rice and pasta will expand when wet and clump together. Even after cooking these two products expand and get sticky. Pasta can easily get caught in your disposal trap causing a clog. A few strands of spaghetti probably won’t hurt anything – just large amount could cause plumbing issues.
Oatmeal may not directly cause a clog, but it clumps and sticks to anything it comes into contact with, acting like cement to bind scraps together forming clog.
6. Stringy vegetables
Stringy vegetables such as celery and asparagus are difficult for your garbage disposal to grind up and therefore the strings can get wrapped around the blades.
Bones from chicken, beef or lamb are too hard and dense for your garbage disposal to properly grind – they can get stuck in the flywheel and can cause the blades to break. It is best to throw bones in the trash. Fish bones are the only exception because they are usually very tiny bones.
8. Produce Stickers
These little stickers may fall off easily in the sink while washing your produce, however, they can cause big problems inside your pipes if they go down the drain. If they make it past your pipes, they can then get caught in wastewater treatment pipes and filters, which causes problems with the equipment designed to treat your water.
This holiday season, remember to think twice about what you are putting down your drain. If you are unsure and in doubt, dispose those items in the trash to help avoid a plumbing nightmare. But should you forget and end up with a holiday crisis, call the specialists at Eastern Plumbing at 252-758-7579.