If you’ve ever had drain cleaning done on your kitchen sink, you might have heard your plumber warning you not to pour grease and oils into your drains again. That’s because these fats, although often in a liquid state when you use them, tend to solidify as they travel down the drain. This is due to the biological and chemical processes happening inside your sewer system.
How Grease Solidifies
It’s easy to dump grease down the drain thinking it’ll get flushed out anyway. However, chemicals from the sewer water bond with the fatty acids from the grease and form a soapy, waxy compound called a “fatberg,” which sticks to the walls of your pipes. After a while, the fatberg builds up and gradually makes your pipes narrower, similar to the way plaque can clog up your arteries.
The Aftermath of “Fatberg”
There are two ways in which the buildup of solidified grease can come back to haunt you. First, it can clog up your septic system, causing your wastewater to back up. Unlike a typical clogged drain, which you might be able to fix using a drain snake or plunger, this will require professional drain cleaning and sometimes even repairs. Early signs include multiple slow drains, gurgling sounds, and a smelly black liquid.
The second, and longer-term consequence, is when the fatberg makes its way into the city’s sewer lines and combines with others from thousands of homes in your area. This buildup can get huge over the course of several years, reducing the sewer’s capacity or causing a massive blockage. This may lead to water contamination and raw sewage backups for area residents.
Prevention is always better than a cure. Make sure the excess oil and grease from your pots and pans are properly disposed of before you wash them. If you want to keep your drains and pipes in their best condition, get in touch with American Rooter in Watertown, CT. They specialize in drain cleaning and septic system services, including pipe inspections and excavations, as well as grease trap and catch basin cleaning. Call (860) 274-7338 today to schedule an appointment, or visit their website to learn more.