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Everything and the Kitchen Sink: Summer Cookouts and Clogs

Summer Should Be About Family and Fun: Keep the Sink Clear

When planning the perfect summer party, it is easy to get caught up in the details of the food and decorations and lose sight of the basics, like making sure there are enough chairs, forks, or plates for the group. The kitchen sink can be easily neglected only to cause problems when the gathering is over, and it’s time to clean up. Before the next family cookout, a homeowner and host should consider these tips during the planning.

Waste Is for the Trash

drainIf someone were to make a list of things that they can put down a kitchen drain, the list would be approximately the size of a small post-it note. On the other hand, the list of things that should not go down the drain would be a scroll that fell past the reader’s feet and rolled across the room. Just because the sink is in the kitchen does not mean it is equipped to handle all the food waste that accumulates while preparing and eating a meal. 

Things like leftovers and coffee grounds are tempting to discard into the maw of the sink drain in the hopes that they will disappear with only a little running water. The truth is, these items can fill the pipe and cause a clog that is difficult to break through. A professional may need to be called. Trash belongs in the trash, so be sure to put it where it goes.

The Hazards of Grease

Grease is a major culprit on the “stuff that should not enter the drain” list. This is due not to its change in form when it cools. It becomes a sticky, fatty solid that can not only clog the sink in its own right but makes food more likely to be trapped and therefore create a chronic clogging problem. Eventually, a plumbing professional may have to come and replace the pipes because normal drain opening solutions will cease to be an option.

The way to prevent this is to dispose of grease in the trash. Leave it in the pan until it cools, then scrape off the hardened grease into the bin. If the smell of the grease is a concern, pour liquid grease into a jar and seal it before disposing of it in the garbage.

Solution: Garbage Disposal

garbage disposalIf the temptation to put food waste down the sink is just more than a person can handle, the best option is to install a garbage disposal. These handy-dandy home appliances live under the sink and, when turned on, they grind up food particles into tiny pieces that will not clog the drain. 

There are two types: continuous feed and batch feed. While the list of forbidden things down the drain is still relatively long, this does open up possibilities. It keeps the trash from stinking of decaying food and aids to speed up kitchen clean-up duty.

Put in the Disposal:

  • Vegetable waste: Carrot tops and skins, orange and apple peels, etc
  • Leftovers: Almost anything that would be left on a plate when a meal is over
  • Liquids: Of course, this is the obvious one. Water, soap, milk, juice, and other beverages are a welcome addition to the drain

Do NOT Put in the Disposal:

  • Animal Products: Meat, bones, or skin of an animal consumed for food may be too tough for the disposal to handle
  • Grease: This sticky stuff will cause problems with or without a disposal
  • Non-food waste: The plastic cups and disposable plates, and such will have to be taken care of in the old-fashioned trash can

About Gillece Services

Gillece Services has handled the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical needs of Pittsburgh, PA since 1980. Their courteous licensed & background-checked technicians are available around the clock for emergencies. Gillece offers up-front pricing, financing, and tailored options to fit any budget. Call them today for kitchen plumbing services in Pittsburgh.