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 "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: HytechPlumber (LA)

Many people won't admit but they do pour grease down their sink drain. Thats OK, I forgive them. What gets me is they often run hot water while they dump the grease down. I believe if pouring even the smallest amount of grease down the drain "COLD" water should be used to flush. By no means am I saying it's ok to dump grease, but if you do use cold water. What about coffee grinds down a sink drain. I heard plumbers say that it scrubs the pipes clean as it goes down. I would like to know what other plumbers in the trade think. THANX

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: westchester plumber

Hytech - If they are going to pour grease down the drain, the line will clog up no matter what. With cold water it'll clog closer to the sink when it starts to solidify. With hot water it'll clog further away because the grease is liquidfied for a longer period of time. Either way, grease stoppages suck! Whenever I install garbage disposal units on kitchen sinks I always advise the homeowner to use cold water, never hot. It will chop up the grease build up and carry it away. As for coffee grinds, that's where mine go every morning.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: jjbex (IL)

I put my coffee grounds down the sink every morning. I periodically pull the traps off to eyeball them, and they are spotless. My wife is Filipina and a lot of rice goes down the drain. Rice is extremely sticky, and I have snaked a lot of Filipino kitchen drains. After I am done, I tell them about the coffee grounds, and I never get a callback on the drains clogging.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: hj (AZ)

If you read the requirements for a trap, one of them is that it be non-fouling, which means that things should not stay in to stop up the drain. And some of the nastiest drain stoppages have been from coffee grounds, especially if they are not run through a disposer.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: westchester plumber

I don't ever remember reading the requirements for a residential drain trap, it's kind of basic. The only time I would look up for trap requirements would be if it is a commercial installation. The clean-out plugs on the bottom of return bends or L.A. traps will always hold a very small amount of debris which does not impose any danger of a clog, and in all reality, will be washed away with the water flow. I think that grease is the issue here. A grease clog can be much worse than coffee grinds in my opinion.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: Dunbar (KY)

I would choose D "none of the above". The rule would be to always tell customers to do not do any of that. NO COFFEE GROUNDS NO GREASE.

IF THEY HAVE A GARBAGE DISPOSAL; RUN WATER WITH IT.

Here is my process when I am called to unclear a sink drain.

Ask for Contents they think is stopping drain.

Ask if drain cleaner was used.

The history if there has been previous clogs.

Run cable through basket strainer like it's threading into drain. (Check for stability of pipes underneath)

Have water standing in both sinks to use as a gauge to pop clog when it happens (hydropressure is the best force in a clog)


When open, run Hot Water for up to ten minutes or until water heater dumps all hot water, then put one medium size bottle of DAWN dish detergent in drain when drain first opens.

No other dish detergent works.


For maintenance of a garbage disposal, run a few trays of ice in disposal once a month.


I have been performing this procedure for years and has been proven effective. Try this out and see if your problem gets resolved this way. That DAWN dish detergent is highly effective for displacing grease.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: packy (MA)

i think the mass code for traps calls it self scouring. it means no drum traps or any of those other types we commonly see on older bathtubs...

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: Anonymous User

Thanks for the advice guys. I don't pour anything down the drain if it can go into the trash. I figure that if the grease can clog the linings of a human plumbing system when the system is 98.6 degrees, it will do the same on a plumbing system that is room temperature. I cant see how grease will NOT build up over time and clog the whole system especially if it is on a septic tank. I don't know but how would that grease be broken down in the septic tank?

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: Deb (ID)

Dunbar, I am with you on this--no grease, coffee grounds, rice, etc. I don't know how it got that kitchen drains (disposers) seem to be considered auxilliary trash cans. I have a septic tank. It has not been pumped for over 7 years and my annual sludge check suggests that I will probably go another 2 or 3 years before pumping is necessary. Other than a little TP, nothing goes into there that hasn't been eaten:-)
Deb
The Pipewench

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: hj (AZ)

The trap standards are in the plumbing code under the definition and description of trap. As Packy says, it is supposed to be selfscouring which means it will not retain the drainage material. The L.A. pattern cleanout is to provide access into the trap arm and riser, not to clean out the trap.

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 Re: "GREASE" Down Sink
Author: Septic Tank Yank (CO)

LeatherNuts,

>I don't know but how would that grease be broken down in the septic tank?<

There are a few species of bacteria that consume Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG), but they are not as prevalent as the microbes that devoir the other sewage components in the septic tank environment. So therefore, I guess the answer to your question is that typically a vast majority of the FOG entering a septic tank stays in there until it is sucked out when the tank is cleaned.

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