Grease: Get It Out of Your Drain
One of the main causes of a blocked drain is grease; it slowly builds up in your pipes until a bad smell becomes discernible. Soon you find that water drains slowly from your sink and ultimately it stops draining.
What causes grease?
Grease takes years to build up. It is a semi solid conglomeration composed of oil and fat deposits as well as semi solid food particles. Some of its bulk also comes from soaps and detergents. The components that make up grease will usually flow down your drain with no complication, but as the water comes in contact with the cold drainpipes, these impurities condense and solidify slowly. When this happens, they are deposited on the walls of the pipe by the water as it flows. Grease is likely to collect near and around places that slope gently rather than steeply in your drainpipes. Over time a mass accumulates, and by the time you notice that your drain is blocked, it could be years since the build up began.
Cleaning out the grease
Basic blocked drain cleaning methods like using hot water, drain snakes or a plunger are not the best way to get rid of the grease within your drainpipes. At best they remove very little grease and you will have to grapple with a blocked drain regularly.
A more effective solution is caustic soda. It dissolves the grease so that it can flow away. In many cases, the buildup of grease is quite big before it is noticed and you have to let the caustic soda work overnight before the grease is removed. When the drain has become unclogged, use hot water to flush your drainpipes.
Despite the effectiveness of caustic soda, it is very corrosive and will wear out your pies slowly. An option, which is kinder to your pipes is a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts. Vinegar can remove grease, and if you follow up with hot water, the drain can be effectively cleaned.
All these options have one weakness; some deposits of grease could remain and soon you have to tackle the problem again. Removing the grease physically before rinsing the drain is usually a more effective way. To achieve this, a high-pressure water jet is used and then the drain can be flushed with hot water although this is not very necessary.
It is important to note that a plumber best employs the use of a high-pressure jet, as it requires skilled handling.