Grease build up is the most common cause of a blocked sewer line. It sneaks up on homeowners, because it happens gradually. It is usually caused by years of putting grease down the garbage disposal. This type of clog typically happens 25 feet or so into the piping system. The reason is that at this point the hot water that goes down the drains has cooled off, and so liquid grease can start building up and coagulating. With no hot water to cut through the grease it starts to build up. When it builds up enough a blocked sewer line can cause a backup into your home – an expensive and dirty nightmare.
Most of us think of grease from such foods as cheeseburgers and bacon. They certainly shed their share of grease but grease also comes from mayonnaise, butter, cooking oil, and the like. Most homeowners do not stop to think these food items are grease, most of us simply wash them down the kitchen sink and perhaps use the disposal. We think that running hot water will dissolve the grease, when all it really does it push the grease further down into the pipes where it can then start to build up over time.
These types of grease blockages can block up to 10 feet of your pipe! If you have grease blockage in your sewer the only way to solve the problem is to call in a professional plumber. He will use a high pressure washer called a hydro-jetter. This device is fed into the sewer line, all the way out to main sewer line in your street. It is a very expensive, time consuming procedure.
The solution is avoiding a blocked sewer line is prevention. We need to stop ladling grease from all of our cooking efforts down the kitchen sink. Scrape it into your trash instead. Wipe off the plates and cooking utensil of all grease with a paper towel, and then wash them. Do not put food items such as coffee grinds, eggshells, orange peels, etc. down the disposal. These items love to mingle with grease and create a blockage.
Follow these simple tips and you can prevent your sewer line from clogging and then backing up into your home.