Maintaining kitchen drains

Don't dump food waste, coffee grinds, bacon drippings, cooking oil or kitchen grease down the drains. The drain will get plugged and you will pay all the insurance deductibles for any damage done to your unit and to any other units that are hooked up to the same drain stack.

Here is a notice that one condo distributed to all of its residents.

Attention Residents & Housekeepers
We are writing to remind our residents and their housekeepers about the importance of maintaining all suite drains, especially kitchen drains.

In 2012 the Corporation installed kitchen stack clean-outs in main kitchen drain pipes in strategic suites. Clean outs are access points that provide the mechanical contractors direct access into main drain pipes for scrubbing, washing, cleaning and removing accumulated debris from pipes.

Although the drain pipes are being maintained and notices have been previously circulated, a drain backup was again experienced recently in a suite`s kitchen sink.

A backed up drain causes an unsightly mess, odour and possible flood damages. It also causes costly plumbing costs, but most importantly, unpleasant cleanup and inconvenience in your homes.

We need your immediate assistance in keeping drains clean and free from clogging materials.

We hereby provide you with useful lifestyle tips that must be put into practice:

Grease and oils
Never, ever pour oils or grease down your drains. These products are thick in nature and not water soluble. Over time they collect and stick to the inner walls of the pipes eventually forming a thick membrane of gunk along with other food particles causing solid blockages which prevent proper drainage.

It is highly recommended that you keep a “grease/oil container” in your kitchen to store your cooking oils/grease. Once the container becomes full simply dispose the container in the ground floor garbage room. It is best not to throw it down the garbage chute.

If you have cooked something that leaves a greasy residue on your pans, simply wipe the pan clean thoroughly with a paper towel before rinsing and washing the pan in your kitchen sink. Dispose of the used paper towel in the garbage.

Kitchen food particles
Always use your sink stoppers when preparing foods.

More effective than kitchen sink stoppers are kitchen sink strainers/screens.
These are available at the Management office at a cost of $2.00 each.

Drain maintenance
Please do not pour any chemicals down the drains such as Drano or Liquid Plumber. The use of these chemicals is not recommended in high rise towers.

Garburators are not to be used in condominiums since all the processed food is then disposed down your kitchen drains causing clogging of the building pipes.

Please collect all refuse and dispose of it in the garbage. Although garburators are commonly used in single dwelling family homes, they are not to be used in residential buildings.

In summary, the best practice to maintaining clean, healthy and free running drains is PREVENTION.

Prevention includes the above recommendations. Prevention does not include the use of Drano or Liquid Plumber or other drain chemicals.

Helping us maintain healthy drain pipes will:

Reduce and possibly eliminate the risks of unpleasant kitchen sink backups or floods in residential suites

Reduce plumbing costs

Peace of mind to you and your neighbours

Don’t pour that turkey fat down the drain!
City of Guelph
14 December 2016

Keep your pipes free from fat

Not everything that goes down the drain makes it all the way to the wastewater treatment plant. Fats, oils and grease poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet can stick to your home’s sewer pipes and lead to costly blockages.

Ever heard of a fatberg?

Grease, fats and oils build up in pipes creating clogs that can cause sewer backups

Just like a steady diet of greasy food can clog your arteries, grease flushed down drains can block pipes. Over time, grease can build up and eventually block an entire pipe, a phenomenon now called fatbergs. These fatbergs block proper drainage, causing sewage and water to surge up through sinks, floor drains and toilets. Overflows from blockages can damage homes, and threaten your health and the environment.

Grease, fats and oils build up in pipes creating big clogs.

Myth-busting facts about grease disposal
It’s okay to pour grease down the drain with lots of hot water.
Once grease cools it resolidifies in your pipes, possibly further down the line where it gets more expensive to fix!
Dish soap breaks down grease.
Dish soap only breaks up grease temporarily. Like using hot water, grease and fat will resolidify in your pipes.

How to dispose of grease properly

Never pour grease down sink drains or toilets.

Solidified grease can be scraped in with your food scraps and put in your green cart.

Liquid cooking oils (e.g. from a deep fryer) can be poured into a sealable container and dropped off for free at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot.

Where does grease come from?
• Grease can come from:
• Butter and margarine
• Cooking oil
• Dairy products
• Food scraps
• Lard and shortening
• Meat fats
• Sauces

What happens when there’s a sewer block?
A sewer block caused by grease accumulation in your home’s pipes could cause:

Raw sewage to overflow into your home or your neighbours’ home;

An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid for by the homeowner;

Raw sewage to overflow into parks, yards, streets, ponds, creeks or rivers;

Potential exposure to disease-causing organisms.

More tips for keeping Guelph’s sewer system fat-free

Scrape solidified grease and food scraps from your plates, utensils, pots, pans, food preparation area and cooking area into your green cart.

Place a strainer in your sink to catch food scraps and other solids. Dispose of grease and food scraps in your green cart.

Use a paper towel to wipe up grease and dispose of the paper towel in your green cart.

Be careful when using a commercial cleaner or detergent which claims to dissolve grease as they may only transport the problem further down your pipes.

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