Kitchen drains, as you may know, are a constant source of problems, especially during the holiday season. One of the biggest reasons they cause problems is because people misuse them by dumping liquid grease down the drain or putting too much food through the garbage disposal. The drains will work a lot better if you use some simple steps to keep them in top shape and if you're careful to use them the way they were designed to operate. Here are four ways to keep your kitchen drains healthy.
1. Keep solid objects and food out of the drain
Solid objects, it ought to go without saying, are not the friend of drains that have limited clearance. If you put just a few solid objects into your drain, even if they're relatively small ones, they may collect and form a barrier that will significantly lower the speed with which water can flow past. This clog can be built up further by small particles of food until the drain is blocked. So don't allow bottle caps, twist ties, or other small solid objects to go down the kitchen drain, and try to keep bits of food out of the drain unless they go through the disposal first.
2. Watch what goes through the disposal
The disposal can be a problem if misused, too. It's true that the disposal was designed to actually take solid objects (bits of food) unlike the drain itself and to make them safer for the drain so they're less likely to clog, but that doesn't mean that the disposal is a heavy-duty trash processor that can handle anything you throw at it. It can actually suffer damage from ice cubes, fibrous foods, or fats and grease, and it can also easily become overwhelmed if you put too much food of any sort into it. So be careful what you put down the disposal. Stick to its intended purpose: keeping bits of food that are rinsed off of dishes from forming clogs in the drain by grinding them up small so that they can be easily flushed through the pipes by large quantities of water.
3. Use washing soda or borax periodically
Washing soda and borax are commonly used detergent boosters that can also soften water or help keep drains clean. Use about a half-cup of one of these softeners; pour it into the drain and then simply flush it out with hot water. This is a maintenance step, so don't expect it to clear out an existing clog in your drainpipe.
4. Clean out the trap as well
Kitchen drains have a trap (the bent j- or u-shaped bit of pipe under the sink) that works by collecting anything that might want to clog the drain. This is supposed to make it easier to clear kitchen drain clogs, but it can also help you prevent such clogs. Simply clean out the trap periodically before a clog occurs, which will keep buildup from getting to a level that slows drainage.
These four tips will help you to keep your drains in the kitchen free of clogs and other problems. Talk to a business like Bryco Plumbing for more advice. Remember, professional drain cleaning isn't just for when you have clogs; anytime you feel that your drains are running slow, you can have them professionally cleaned out to improve efficiency and ease of draining.