Planning on doing a lot of holiday cooking? Be particularly vigilant about keeping grease, fat and oils out of your drains to avoid a holiday FOG clog.
Now that the holidays are here, you’re doing your best to get organized. First, you’re creating a list of things to do over the holidays – like the River of Light Holiday Water Taxi Tour. And, you’re making a list of things you’d like to bake to give away and for you and your family to enjoy through the holidays.
While you’re doing that, be sure you’re also taking steps to avoid a holiday FOG clog.
“Fats, oils, and grease – known as ‘FOG’ – poured down the drain (intentionally or unintentionally) can cause major sewage backups or a buildup in your pipes, leading to costly repairs for homeowners, at the worst time,” according to Hillsborough County officials. “Everyday washing of plates, pots, pans, and cooking equipment – such as turkey fryers – send FOG down the drain, which over time can eventually build up in the sewer system. While FOGs may not seem harmful as a warm liquid, once it cools, it’s a different story. As liquid cools, the fat, grease, and oil congeal and can cause major blockages in your home plumbing, your septic tank, or in the county sewer collection system, causing overflows onto streets and into waterways.”
Hillsborough offers these suggestions to help you avoid a FOG clog in your plumbing system:
1. Keep your drain fat-free. Cool it, bottle it, and recycle it. Pour cooled fats, oils, and grease carefully into a container with a lid on it.
2. FOG isn’t only pure fats, oils and grease. Be aware FOG can be found in many foodstuffs. In addition to fats, oils, and grease, FOG also includes meat fats, lard, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, dairy products, batters, icing, dressing, and especially a holiday staple: gravy.
3. When in doubt, throw it out. Food scraps containing FOG belong in the trash. Even if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, leftover FOG from meal preparation and cooked substances can build up and leave your pipes vulnerable to a costly plumbing issue.
4. Scrape your plate. Scrape all your remaining food scraps from your plates, pots, pans, and fryers into your trash can before you wash your dishes. Avoid the garbage disposal, and use something as simple as a strainer in your sink to catch unwanted food scraps. Before washing your plates and cooking supplies, use a paper towel to wipe absorb and wipe off excess FOG, and toss it in the trash.
5. Recycle FOG. Look at your county’s website. Many Tampa Bay counties and some cities offer ways to recycle FOG to help keep it out of your plumbing system and, therefore, out of the public system.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes you’ll get a clog – FOG related or not. If you can clear the clog yourself, that’s great. If you can’t, then it’s time to call the drain-cleaning experts at Billy the Sunshine Plumber.
Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Days, nights, weekends, or holidays, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here for you, even on Christmas and other holidays.
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