What Happens When You Pour Grease Down a Drain?

grease down a drainMost people know better than to pour grease down a drain. We even discussed this briefly in our previous post. However, most homeowners don’t know why this is bad. Nor do they know precisely what happens once the grease enters the drains and pipes.

Why Pouring Grease Down the Drain Is a No-no

Grease undergoes chemical alterations under temperature fluctuations. Grease also mixes with other debris and chemicals in the pipeline and sewers, forming a conglomeration of chemical sludge. The solid mass ends up blocking the pipes that shuttle out wastewater.

One study revealed that 47% of sewer backups in the U.S. occur due to grease buildup. We can attest to this; roughly half of our plumbing service work involves some form of blockage removal.

As grease travels through the pipes, it begins breaking down into its molecular components—glycerol and fatty acids. These bind with calcium deposits resting in the sewers to form a glob-like compound that clings to the upper portion of the pipes when water levels rise. Plumbers even have an informal name for this glob—fatberg.

Fatbergs can reach to unlimited sizes if a plumber isn’t brought in to maintain the sewer line. One plumbing company in the UK, in fact, found a 17-ton fatberg in a sewer ceiling.

This Is Not a DIY Fix

The lesson here? Keep grease away from the drain. If you have an existing backup, don’t treat it using a store-bought drain cleaner. This is a temporary fix that only pushes the fatbergs further into the sewers, creating a bigger problem down the line. Always call a professional.

We Treat Grease Buildups

Let Plumbing & Heating Specialist treat any blockages. Our special offers include such type of services. We also repair heaters and install new fixtures. As for your sinks, pouring grease down the drain is asking for trouble.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Professional Sewer Cleaning and Blockage Removal

Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway