I can’t say he didn’t warn me…
The other day the drain on both sides of the sink stopped working. I instantly knew what the problem was. About half a year earlier my uncle, the plumber, was staying with us and watched me pour some grease down the drain. He was absolutely shocked that we could be so foolish as to do such a thing! I said, “No, it’s okay, I’m running hot water down the drain too!” Obviously this was not good enough. And he told me so, but the Missus and I didn’t listen.
Now, in this case we got lucky. The grease seems to have built up in the p-trap, but build-up, it certainly did! I pulled out a plug of grease that was about 1.5 inches long! Now, the repair itself was pretty simple. Our p-trap is PEX (the name for plastic pipes) and the two sides of it just unscrew. I took it out, cleaned it up, and then put it back in a matter of minutes. The drain then worked better than it has in months.
I say I got lucky because what if the build up happened somewhere else? If it had happened farther down the line it could have blocked much more than just the kitchen sink. It could have blocked the dishwasher or the washing machine. In both cases, if the machine was running, the water would have backed up and over flowed into the kitchen which could have caused a very large amount of damage!
I’ve also read that it can cause troubles to your septic system. Now, if I pour grease down my drain and break my septic tank then that’s my problem. I’m the only one who has to pay for it. But for those of you on public sewer systems, grease poured down the drain can cause even the largest sewer mains to be clogged up! That means more tax payer money being, almost literally, thrown down the drain.