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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

The FOG Conundrum: What to Do

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We clear a lot of plumbing systems of their drain clogs every year. Sometimes they’re just old drains that haven’t been clogged in years. Other times, they’re clogs that could have been avoided. We’re here today to talk about the latter half of clogs—the ones that homeowners don’t know are usually avoidable. Those clogs have a lot to do with FOG.

FOG stands for fats, oils, and grease. These types of substances that exist mainly in our kitchens are especially insidious towards our plumbing systems. While fats might taste good and be healthy in many diets, they’re not very good for your drains and can often cause clogs that are a hassle to deal with.

Do you constantly need help with your plumbing in Des Moines, IA? Perhaps you’re the victim of FOG. Keep reading as we go into the specifics of what FOG does and drain clogs caused by these materials can be avoided.

What’s the Problem?

Fats, oils, and greases have a unique set of properties that make them tricky to deal with. We’ll get into each one in detail so you can understand why it’s important to take steps mitigating the release of FOG materials into your drain.

  • Insoluble in water. This is the first frustrating point about fats, oils, and greases that get lodged in your plumbing. Most materials that get flushed down the drain eventually dissolve into water, which makes them perfect to end up in your sewer system. Fats, oils, and greases do not—no matter how much time passes. This can be a problem when they start to form clogs in your drain.
  • Change form depending on temperature. Have you ever noticed coconut oil become solid and cloudy on a cold day, but clear and viscous on a hot day? that’s because fats, oils, and greases change structure depending on the temperature indoors. They’re not like water that freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. They solidify at a much higher temperature. This quality makes them solidify in your drains, making clogs more complicated.
  • Long lasting. FOG materials last for a long time. It’s why they’re used to preserve foods and make materials like soap. Unfortunately, this means your drain is going to be clogged for the foreseeable future. Call a professional plumber to have it cleared.
  • Viscous. Viscous materials easily stick to surfaces and can be hard to remove. While water and food waste might still go down your drain easily, there could be FOG material gathering on the lining of the pipes, slowly forming a clog.

Call for a Professional

It’s a good idea to throw FOG materials into the trash when you can. Let them solidify on pans and dishes, and scoop them up for the trash to help prevent these types of clogs.

Unfortunately, not many home remedies are available for the removal of a FOG drain clog. Drain snakes and plungers have minimal effect on these types of problems. Thankfully, plumbers know exactly how to deal with them. They can use things like hydro-jets to ensure your pipes are cleared of FOGs and any additional clogging materials.

Call the pros at Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to remove your drain clog today.

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