Barry Jolly is a self-employed entrepreneur and the owner of Jolly Plumbing in Northern Kentucky. He has been serving clients throughout Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati areas for 31 years, and won numerous awards in the plumbing industry. Here, Jolly gives us a few tips on how to keep our kitchen drains clean and free of debris.
Proper drainage is important to prevent plumbing problems. As far as kitchen sinks are concerned, many people put too much stuff into their garbage disposal, and even don’t use enough water when they are trying to ground them down. For example, some people have the tendency to peel a whole bucket of potatoes and then put all the peels down in the disposal, which will definitely cause drain problems.
Too Much Grease
Grease seems to be the main thing people have a problem with their kitchen drains these days. If you want your kitchen drain to run properly, you can’t let any type of grease or fat drain down into it. That type of things will certainly cause problems either now or in the future. You need to find a place to dispose of grease in some other way, because it is really bad for the drain line. If you put too much grease down in your sink, it will harden the drain line and catch everything that goes down into the drain from that point on. So you want to avoid putting fat and grease down into your sink as much as possible.
If you has let grease get into your sink drain in the past, you can use Liquid-Plumr or other chemical products. I recommend people try using them about once a month if they are not 100% careful about what they put down their sinks all the time, and that can help a lot. But, if you miss the point where a draining chemical is going to help, you need to call a professional plumber out to handle the job.
Machines Used For Clearing Drains
When we come out to fix and clear someone’s kitchen sink, we always use our small sewer machine and cable. We run the cable down the drain to clear out any clogs, and then follow it up with some hot water. We also have another type of machine for clearing drains and sinks, which is called a high-pressure jet machine. It shoots high-pressure water through your pipes to wash the inside of the pipes. That is the best way of getting grease out of a sink drain, because when we try other options with the sewer machine and cable, the cable can only unclog the grease that’s in there.
We usually use a sewer machine and cable to push the grease that’s stuck inside the pipes back around, instead of actually clearing it out. So it is hard to get the grease inside the pipes washed completely out with just a sewer machine and cable. That’s why the high-pressure jet machine is such a helpful tool when we are working on a sink drain with a lot of grease that has been built up for years.
If your sink pipes are made from cast iron piping or the galvanized piping, a lot of times the grease can be especially difficult to clean out — even with all the techniques we have available. So if your sink pipes get to the point where you can’t clean them anymore, you might have to consider replacing those pipes completely with ones made from a new material like PVC.
It’s a good idea to sign up for an annual maintenance program with your plumbing company or make sure to get an annual inspection for your system. That can ensure that your drain stays clear of debris and doesn’t get too clogged. When people sign up for the maintenance program we Jolly Plumbing offer, it includes a free annual visit to their home to inspect their pipes and drainage systems, which I think is something a lot of people could benefit from when it comes to protecting their kitchen drains and pipes.