Grease can not only wreak havoc on the drains and sinks in your home, but it can cause a lot of problems with your sewer lines. If you're not careful about how you dispose of grease in your home, then you may require more sewer line cleaning and repair and increase the likelihood of possible pipe failure. Here are a few other things to know about how grease affects your sewer lines.
How grease becomes a problem:
Not only does grease from your frying pans contribute to grease buildup, but so can fats from other foods. Butter, oils, baked goods and dressings can all potentially clog a drain line. Add other food particles to the mix and you are at risk for even more blockage. Most types of grease and fat are liquid when warm, but when they get cool, they become solid and build up down the line away from the home where the pipe gets cooler. Over time, enough grease can build up to totally block the pipe.
What happens when grease builds up in pipes:
When grease builds up enough to block the pipes, then they can cause backups and even burst. When the drain lines back up, raw sewage can flow out of the drains and into your home. Your home's drains will no longer work. You will not be able to use any of your home's plumbing, including toilets and bath tubs until the problem is fixed. If the sewer line breaks outside your home, raw sewage can flow out into your yard and even into the street. This can potentially cause problems with the water quality in your area.
Preventing grease clogs in your sewer line:
The first step is to never pour grease down the drain or into the garbage disposal. Instead, pour the grease into a heat-resistant container such as a ceramic cup. Then, when the grease cools and hardens, throw it out with the regular trash. Try adding traps to your sink to catch food particles. Some plumbers recommend pouring hot water down the drain on a regular basis. Some sources recommend using bleach to clear out grease, but others claim that not only won't it work with a grease problem, it can interact with the pipes and cause other problems.
One more thing you can do to further prevent the chance that grease will build up and block your sewer lines to have them cleaned out out a regular basis. It is generally recommended that sewer lines be cleaned at least every 18 to 22 months. If it's been longer than that and you are concerned that you might have a problem, then you may be due for a sewer line clean-out. Click here for more information.