Your shower drain might give you a headache occasionally, as may your bathroom sink drain – after all, they bear the brunt of all that loose hair and soap scum. But far and away the most stubborn of the drains in your house is the kitchen drain. Not only does a kitchen drain get a fair amount of use, but it’s also sometimes treated as a receptacle for all sorts of unfortunate kitchen waste.
All those little food particulates and oils have a habit of collecting inside the pipe, sticking to the interior walls and refusing to shake loose. This build-up reduces the diameter of the pipe until it is completely clogged, in which case water cannot drain from the sink. That’s where you get that tell-tale gurgling, the sluggish draining times and the standing water.
The grease in the pipe may also be rinsed to the main drainpipe, which is 4” in diameter, and cause it to become clogged as well. Before this is allowed to happen – or, in other words, as soon as you notice a clogged or sluggish drain – call in the kitchen sink drain cleaning experts in Toronto here at Mister Plumber.
As the weather gets better, homeowners expect to do a bit more entertaining, which means throwing a little more strain on what might be an already overtaxed kitchen drain. To ensure that your summer dinner parties aren’t interrupted by unsightly clogs, and that your kitchen drain is working in peak condition, we’ll cover a few bases.
We’ll discuss easy kitchen drain maintenance tips, as well as expound the values of proper kitchen pipe installation. Finally, we’ll talk a little bit about professionally cleaning your kitchen drain.
Easy Kitchen Drain Maintenance Tips
An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. Although you may be pressed for time when cooking, or cleaning the kitchen, always be mindful of what you allow down the drain. Here’s a list of a few common offenders that you shouldn’t let near your drainpipe:
- Fats and oils. This includes cooking oils, bacon grease, butter, etc. as well as emulsified fats like mayonnaise and salad dressing.
- Essentially, anything that clings to the inside of its container. This could include peanut butter, jam, ketchup… If it sticks to its own container, there’s a good chance it’ll stick to your pipes.
- Food scraps. Have a compost and garbage close at hand when prepping food, and always scrape your plate into the waste before washing it.
- Coffee grounds. Toss the whole filter, with grounds, into the compost, or – if using a French press – sieve it before disposing.
- Flour, or anything powdery. This stuff seriously sticks to oil, forming what is essentially a dough inside your pipes, which can be very difficult to remove.
For more on what you shouldn’t put down your drains (including for sanitary and health reasons), we recommend you check out the City of Toronto’s official page on the matter.
Drain maintenance is partly about prevention, but it’s also partly about being proactive. Instead of waiting for a severe clog to form, consider receiving regular drain maintenance from a professional plumber. This can be anytime you deem it necessary. When you call in a plumber to fix that leaky kitchen faucet have them take a quick look at your drains as well – it could end up saving you down the line.
Your kitchen pipe problems may have something to do with how they were installed, though. Let’s look at how improper installation can exacerbate kitchen drain issues, as well as what the right kind of installation looks like.
Improper Installation = A Frequent Headache
In the picture above, you can see a sewer camera showing the grease congestion inside of a main building drainpipe underground. In this case, the improper slope and fittings that were used at time of installation triggered the formation of a clog, and consequently the homeowners had to clean the pipe pretty often.
Installing the Right Way
Any kind of cleaning requires access to the pipe – and this access is facilitated by what is called a clean-out. It is mandatory to install a clean-out downstream of P-trap under the sink – then, when the stack is going underground, within 1 meter from floor level, another clean-out must be installed. But despite the fact that it’s mandatory, not all homes have them. Call us anytime in Toronto to figure out whether your clean-outs are installed, and if they have been done correctly.
Professionally Cleaning Your Kitchen Drain
In order to clear the drainpipe, plumbers use a snaking machine, which can come in different sizes and power levels. Basically, what a snaking machine does is burrow a long, flexible auger into the pipe, which works at the pipe’s interior, breaking away any built up stuff.
In very complicated situations, pipe power flush equipment might need to be used. These are the real big guns. In the second picture, just below, you can see what’s called a Ridgid power flush machine that produces up to 1750 PSI, which can rinse any build-up from inner wall of the pipe. It’s a modern and powerful piece of equipment that is pretty much exclusive to top plumbers.
After cleaning the pipe, 3” and 4” drains can be checked with a camera to make sure that all stuff is rinsed down and you have the clear to use the plumbing fixtures again. Once everything is cleared up and in working order, go back to the first entry in this article: continue to maintain your drains, prevent clogs and take proactive steps against drain emergencies.
For the best drain cleaning services in the city, call us here at Mister Plumber. We have modern and powerful equipment to fight pipe clogs, as well as the experience and know-how to help you ensue that those clogs don’t return. Hopefully, this article has helped shed light on your kitchen drain, and you’ve learned the value of proper installation and regular cleaning!