“FOG” is plumbing industry shorthand for “fats, oil & grease.” FOG provides our company with a lot of business over the winter holidays yet nothing but headaches for you.
Many of you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with traditional holiday feasts that include turkey, ham, gravy, stuffing and deliciously gooey desserts. Yummy as these dishes may be, they require preparation with lots of cooking oil, grease, butter and fat. All that FOG can wreak havoc on kitchen drains along with the rest of your home’s wastewater system. The holidays may be a good time to forget about your waistline but the worst time to suffer a clogged drain line or worse – such as raw sewage backing up through toilets, sinks or tubs.
While we’re happy to gain your business, we’d prefer to see you happy over the holidays. So keep in mind the following when disposing of FOG and other holiday excesses.
- Never pour fats, oils or grease down a sink drain, toilet or tub. Also, take care not to dispose of meats and other greasy foods down the drain. Instead, put them in a garbage bag or sealed container and dispose of them in the trash. FOG can also be poured into kitty litter and then disposed. Even small amounts of FOG can create problems in your drain lines.
- Wipe greasy dishes and pots with a paper towel or napkin to absorb cooking oil before washing.
- Be selective in pouring table scraps into your disposal. Garbage disposals are wondrous devices designed to get rid of table scraps, but stringy and fibrous foods such as celery stalks and potato peels can present a challenge to many garbage disposals. This is especially the case when food is prepared in high volume for holiday meals in homes with low-capacity disposals. Toss the stringy debris in the garbage instead. Also, make use of the drain baskets and strainers in your kitchen sink to catch smaller food items rinsed from plates and utensils. If you’re into gardening, you may want to consider collecting vegetable and fruit scraps for use in a backyard composting pile.
- Don’t use your toilet as a substitute for the sink drain in disposing of these items. While you probably know better than to flush paper towels, sanitary napkins and wet wipes down a toilet, don’t take it for granted that your holiday visitors and overnight guests will be as sensible. Provide a waste basket in every bathroom and empty it frequently. If you’re really concerned about any guests who might be common-sense challenged, put a little sign up advising against flushing any of the above.
- Keep a plunger next to every toilet just in case all of the above advice fails.
If you do end up with a clogged drain this holiday season, we recommend against using those chemical drain cleaners sold at the supermarket. They are caustic and dangerous to your family and your home’s piping. Give us a call instead.
Dutton’s plumbers use the most advanced tools of their trade to clear drains, such as a rotary cable machine. This is the tool of choice for most drain clogs. It is safe and, because it scrubs the pipe all the way around its inner circumference, far more effective than chemical drain cleaners, which only bore a tiny hole through the clog. If the cable doesn’t do the job we turn to a jetting machine. Jetters use pressurized water to safely blast away the gunk on the inside of a pipe.
Our plumbers also are equipped with high-definition sewer cameras to inspect sewer lines for damage and debris. They can provide you with a DVD of the inspection so you can see the actual blockage and recommend remedial options. These can range from a simple rodding to, in extreme cases, replacement of the sewer line.
Even with the best of care, drain and sewer lines tend to clog up over time due to debris and grease buildup. That’s why it’s important to perform routine maintenance on your sewer line.
Treatment with Bio-Clean, sold by certain plumbing companies only, is a great way to keep your lines FOG-free on an ongoing basis. Bio-Clean treatments are part of our Family Plan Service Agreements. You want to take advantage of our convenient maintenance reminders to Family Plan members.
We at Dutton wish all of you a joyous, clog-free holiday season.