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What’s FOG and What Does It Do to Your Plumbing?

water-flowing-down-a-sink-drainWhen we talk about “FOG,” we aren’t referring to the layer of mist you may see settling in around your town on a cool morning. While you should certainly be cautious of that kind of fog, especially while driving, we’re actually talking about the FOG that too many homeowners pour down their kitchen sink drains–fats, oils, and grease.

FOG is actually one of the worst things that can negatively impact your kitchen drain, and sometimes even your sewer line if you pour enough of it down. Avoiding this problem is relatively easy, but we understand you might be kind of curious about whether or not it really is that bad and if you should be concerned. Read on!

The Threat of FOG

FOG can be rather deceptive. In fact, you may wonder at all if it’s really a threat, since it’s in liquid form while you’re cooking. For instance, you’re done cooking with a skillet and there’s a layer of grease and oil still on the pan. The easier way to dispose of this FOG is to pour it down the drain, right? Well, yes, that’s easy. But it’s not a good idea.

The problem with FOG is that it doesn’t remain in liquid form. If you left that skillet out for an hour or so, away from the heat, do you know what you would find when you went back to it? You’d see that the cooking byproducts have cooled, and hardened. The same thing happens to FOG when you pour it down the drain.

FOG becomes a stubborn solid deposit, and the more this builds up inside your drainpipe, the bigger risk there is for a very stubborn clog situation. The volume of your pipe will shrink and water flow will be impacted. Eventually, it can build up so much that it will prevent water from flowing down at all.

“So, What Should I Do with FOG?”

It’s a good idea to keep something simple like a mason jar or soda can nearby when you’re cooking. Then, when you are done you can pour excess FOG into this, wait until it hardens, and throw it away in your trash can later. If you only have a small amount to get rid of, you could simply put paper towels at the top of your trash can and pour the FOG onto that.

For larger amounts, you might consider placing the collection receptacle in the freezer. This makes the FOG easier and less messy to dispose of.

Consider Professional Drain Cleaning

When you do have a clog, call on the professionals to relieve it. Reaching for a bottle of store-bought drain cleaner is actually just as bad as pouring FOG down the drain. The problem is that these “solutions” are highly caustic and can do more harm than good for your plumbing. Instead, rely on professional drain snaking or hydro-jetting from our team!

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for a reliable plumber in Madison, NJ, and much more. Reach out to us today.

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