A clogged drain is one of the most frustrating and most common plumbing problems to have and it may be one reason to call a professional plumber in the area. Fortunately, clogged drains are often very preventable. There are many things that you should not pour down the drains in your home, but many people do not know that these things should not be put down drains. To help prevent the drains in your home from getting clogged, keep reading to discover 7 things to avoid pouring down your drain.
Grease and Oil
Anything that is oil-based—including bacon grease, butter, margarine, salad dressing, mayonnaise, etc.—should not be poured down the drain. Pouring grease and oil down the drain might seem harmless because they are in liquid form when they are poured down the drain, but grease and oil are some of the major causes of drain clogs.
Bacon grease, melted butter, margarine, coconut oil, and similar substances that take both liquid and solid form are dangerous to pour down the drain because they can solidify once they are down the drain and cause a clog. Oil-based salad dressings, sauces, and substances like mayonnaise should not be poured down the drain because they can build up, mix with other debris that has been poured down the drain, and form a thick sludge that clogs the sink drain.
Eggshells are another common source of drain clogs. They are very hard and it is difficult for them to be broken down completely—even by garbage disposal. Eggshells can even damage the blades of your garbage disposal.
Plus—even once they are ground up into small pieces—eggshells can mix with softer substances down the drain and cause blockages. Eggshell membranes are also dangerous to put down the drain because they can get caught both on the garbage disposal blades and the inside of the drain and lead to a buildup of debris inside the drain.
Pasta and Rice
Think of how pasta and rice are cooked; pasta and rice naturally absorb water and expand as they absorb the water. Even once they are fully cooked, pasta and rice can still absorb more water, and
continue to expand. If you pour pasta or rice down the drain, these grains can get stuck inside of the drain and expand as water goes down the drain. The expanded pasta and rice can then cause blockages inside the drain.
When flour mixes with water—as it does when you pour flour down the drain and run the faucet—the water hydrates the molecules in the flour and makes these molecules sticky.
This causes the mixture of flour and water to form a very sticky, glue-like substance. This gooey glue-like mix of flour and water can create a blockage inside the sink drain and can cause the drain to clog.
Fruit and Vegetable Peels
Fruit and vegetable peels should never be put down the drain. These peels can get stuck on both the blades of your garbage disposal and the inside of your pipes. Over time, the peels can build up alongside other substances and cause blockages inside the drain.
Plus, if you accidentally put a peel that still has a produce sticker stuck to it down the drain, that sticker can wreak havoc inside your pipes because it is sticky and does not break down in the drain.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
It might seem counterintuitive to avoid pouring chemical drain cleaners down the drain because down the drain is exactly where these cleaners are designed to go.
However, chemical drain cleaners can actually cause severe damage to your plumbing system over time. These chemical cleaners can cause the inside of your pipes to corrode, which can lead to drain clogs along with many other plumbing problems.
Paint should never be poured down the drain. Inside the drain, paint solids can form from the liquid paint. These paint solids can build up over time and cause a blockage that clogs your drain. Plus, pouring paint down the drain poses a risk to the environment as well.