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Is Your Diet Causing Problems With Your Home's Plumbing? Tips For Healthier Drains & Pipes

Doctors agree that eating a healthier diet can help people live longer and avoid many serious health issues related to obesity, such as heart attacks, diabetes, and high blood pressure. But when people set out to use healthier cooking methods to improve their health, they may unwittingly be damaging their home's drains, plumbing pipes, and septic systems. If you have changed your cooking habits to improve your diet by draining away excess grease and oil from your recipes, the following tips can help you ensure that your home's plumbing system will stay fit and healthy too! 

How fat from cooking affects drains and pipes

Whether it is grease from frying, oils from rich sauces, or greasy dishwater from soaking a dirty frying pan, your pipes are at risk from these and other similar substances created every day in home kitchens. While these substances may look harmless while in a warm, liquid state, when they meet the cooler surfaces of the drain, pipes, and sewer system, they congeal quickly. 

In fact, this video shows a sewer lateral pipe that runs from a residence into a city sewer system and the frightening level of grease buildup it contains. Over time, these substances build up, layer by layer, hardening as they age. When the buildup completely blocks the pipe, the home's drains will either refuse to drain or begin to back up into the home whenever additional liquids are released from the home's other drains. Either way, a major plumbing repair will be needed to remedy the problem. 

How to prevent grease and oils from going down your kitchen drain

Some of the biggest offenders are liquid fats, such as grease that has not yet congealed, and oils, which are liquid at room temperature. Instead of pouring these substances down the drain to dispose of them, place a large plastic or metal coffee can or similar, lidded container under your sink.

Whenever you have oil or grease to dispose of, wait until it is completely cool and then pour it into the container, replacing the lid when you are done. When the container is three-quarters full, place it securely into a leak-proof trash bag and then into your garbage can to be sent out with your regular trash. 

Fats that harden at room temperature, such as shortening, meat fats, and butter, can also be scraped into this can for easy disposal. Remember to wipe the exterior of the can with a dry paper towel each time you use it to remove greasy residue and prevent it from making a mess under your sink. 

If you are seeing signs that a grease clog or other plumbing problem is already in existence, such as slow moving drains, unusual odors, or gurgling sounds from your pipes, contact a plumbing contractor immediately to prevent the issue from worsening.