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Beware of the Dreaded Plumbing FOG

When you think of the spring season, you’re likely focusing on cleaning and repairing things around the house. A good place to start your spring cleaning this season is your home plumbing system. Plumbing professionals often find themselves helping homeowners repair their plumbing systems after a busy winter season. The importance of making smart plumbing choices is not seasonal, you should protect your system year-round, but the plumbing FOG that plagues systems across the country can trip up even the most diligent homeowner. You may not be familiar with the acronym FOG, but it stands for fat, oil, and grease, which are common ingredients in many of the most popular winter comfort foods. The fats, oils, and greasy residue found in many yummy and hearty dishes enjoyed during cooler months can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, leading to serious spring cleanup. It’s not uncommon for dishes to get rinsed and all their contents to be sent down your drain. Sometimes, life gets so busy that dishes go into the dishwasher with food and oils still on the plate. These seemingly minor slipups over time can lead to serious plumbing headaches.

Where Does the Plumbing FOG Come From?

It’s important to keep the FOG combination of food byproducts out of your plumbing system at all costs because the FOG will create clogs and prevent your system from operating smoothly. If you’re wondering where the FOG comes from, you may be surprised to know that you don’t have to be cooking something particularly unhealthy. Seemingly healthy dishes like eggs, lean meats, and soups can create issues for homeowners. Healthy oils and fats are still problematic for your plumbing, even if they’re healthy for your heart. Cooking with oils and fats can be tricky because once you’re done, it can be confusing to know what to do with the FOG components.

How to Properly Dispose of Plumbing FOGs

You may be surprised to know there is a right and a wrong way to dispose of fats, oil, and grease after cooking. Dumping it down the sink may be the easiest thing to do once you’re finished cooking, but that’s one of the worst things you can do for your plumbing system. As plumbers, we know it’s frustrating not to be able to pour your cooking residues down the drain as you rinse your cooking utensils and cookery to clean them. But, if you put these FOG elements down your drain, you are begging for future troubles in the form of clogs and backups. You also can’t pour loose fats, oils, or greasy residue into your trash can. It will leak and cause a terrible mess. You may be left asking, so, how do I get rid of this stuff? That’s a good question.

Here are a few ways to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease, so you don’t end up with a clogged drain:

  • Pour It: Once the oil or fat reaches room temperature, pour or place it in a non-recyclable container that can be thrown away. The unrecyclable container should also be unbreakable, so you don’t have to worry about leakage issues. A good choice would be a milk carton or similar container with a screw-on lid to prevent spillage and leaks.
  • Freeze It: You can also throw out fats and oils by freezing them first and then tossing them into the trash right before trash collection day. If you save the cans from your pantry vegetables, you can pour used oil and fats into a cleaned can and pop it into the freezer to be disposed of properly.
  • Recycle It: If you cook with oil often, you may be able to reuse it or compost it. If the idea of adding vegetable oils seems too wild for you, you may be comforted to know that oil, in small amounts, kills weeds and keeps pests away from your garden.

If the winter season has left your plumbing system in the dreaded plumbing FOG, you can contact the experts at Wallner Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning to get your pipes cleaned today! Call us today at (530) 223-5622 for more information or to schedule an appointment.