How to Treat – And Prevent – a Kitchen Sink Clog
The turkey is trimmed and the pumpkin pie is baked. The last thing you need during the holidays is a kitchen sink clog! Avoid a holiday disaster with these kitchen plumbing tips.
Garbage Disposals: The Quick n’ Dirty
An overworked garbage disposal is one of the most common plumbing problems on a high-traffic kitchen day. Pay attention to these drain-clogging culprits:
- Pouring cooking oil, grease, or fat down the drain
- Putting poultry skins (turkey, chicken) down the drain
- Putting starchy peels and grains (potato peels, rice) down the drain
- Putting stringy vegetables (celery, citrus fruits) down the drain
- Discarding fibrous material (coffee grinds, corn husks) down the drain
- Accidentally dropping small flatware and cooking utensils down the drain
If the damage is done – you’ve poured that grease, turkey skin, or potato peel down the sink – it might not be too late to unclog the culprits.
If you turn on your garbage disposal and hear a low hum instead of the healthy motor, stop using the appliance immediately. Here’s how to safely check for garbage disposal clogs:
- Turn the disposal off and unplug the unit.
- Check to make sure there are no tripped breakers in the fuse box.
- Attempt to clear the clog by turning the blades manually with a wrench (look for a hole at the bottom of the disposal).
- Give the disposal several minutes to cool off.
- Plug in the disposal and turn it on.
- If the clog hasn’t cleared, it’s time to call a plumber.
Quick Clog Fix
Plungers aren’t just for toilets! Many times, sink clogs can be fixed with a plunger and a little muscle. Use a sink plunger, which is smaller and shaped differently than a toilet plunger. Place the plunger over the sink’s drain hole and form a seal. Pump the plunger up and down, keeping the seal, to help remove a clog.
Stop Clogs in Their Tracks
Cooking for a big crowd this Thanksgiving? Have a plumber snake your drain before Thanksgiving. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way!
If you procrastinated, there are still some proactive measures you can take to keep drains clear. Before you reach for liquid drain cleaners – which are often acidic and damaging to disposal lines – try these tips:
- Always have sink water running when you use the disposal.
- Before you bust out the drain cleaner, snaking a drain is the most effective solution to clearing a clog.
- Pour boiling water down your kitchen drain twice a month. This helps break down food waste.
- A combination of baking soda and hot water can add more oomph to your drain-clearing efforts.
- Don’t let clogs sit for days. Food waste will rot and eventually smell, leaving you with a stinky situation.
Whether you’re planning ahead for the holidays with a tune-up or fixing an emergency issue, you can count on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for timely, professional help all holiday season long!