You would think by the time people reach adulthood, they’d have a pretty good notion of what shouldn’t go down the drain. That’s definitely not the case, however, as plumbers can attest. A good many plumbing calls would probably not be necessary if homeowners and their families were more careful about the kinds of substances they flush, put in the disposal or just try to wash down the drain. Here’s a list of some of the things to avoid in order to prevent a plumbing emergency.
Grease may be the no. 1 drain-clogging substance. It should always be disposed of in the garbage or collected in a coffee can, to be thrown away later. Grease may seem liquid enough to flow through the pipes, but as it cools off, it will congeal and harden further down the line, trapping other substances in the pipes. This caution also applies to other kinds of oils, including salad dressing and mayonnaise, and fats, such as shortening, lard, cheese, butter, milk and ice cream.
- Pasta, rice and other starchy foods
These foods absorb water and can actually expand when they’re in the pipes and cause a clogged drain. Throw away beans and potatoes as well.
- Coffee grounds
You may have heard that there’s no harm in washing coffee grounds down the sink but that’s not true. They will cause a clog. A better use for coffee grounds is to mulch plants that need more acidity in the soil. Or, instead of pesticide, use coffee grounds to deter ants or slugs. Mixed with orange peels, coffee grounds distributed around plants will keep cats away.
- Drain cleaners
These products don’t work that well; they may partially dissolve a clog, but the clog may then move through the pipes and cause a bigger obstruction down the line. These caustic cleaners may also damage pipes.
For more advice on what not to put down your drain, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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