Not every clog requires a plumber and some clogs can be cleaned with at-home remedies. To prevent clogs, you should avoid pouring grease down your drain, but if a clog does form. All is not lost. Taking the time to troubleshoot your drain on your own should help to keep costs down, or at the very least, confirm that you need to call a plumber.
How Grease Clogs Form
Like plaque in your arteries, grease will build up on the interior walls of your drains and constrict the space through which water flows. Hot grease may seem safe to pour down your drain, but the grease can cool in a matter of feet once it enters your drain and then coat your drains as it congeals. Thus, the best way to avoid a clogged drain in your kitchen sink is to avoid pouring grease down the drain in the first place.
What to Do if You Have a Slow Drain
As grease constricts your drain, it can slow down the flow of water down your drain to the point that it may take several seconds or minutes for water to drain out of your sink. If this happens, boil a quart or more of water on your stovetop. Once all the water has drained out of your sink, pour the boiling water directly down the drain. The heat from the water should help to dissolve the grease and improve flow. For best results, turn your faucet to hot and let the hot water flow down your drain for several minutes to further remove any grease left in the drain.
What To Do with a Clog
The most likely place for grease to built up in your drain is in the P-trap. The same trap that catches water and thus prevents fumes from your sewer pipes from leaking into your home can allow grease to collect and then solidify. Because of the risk of clogging, most P-traps come with collars that can be removed by hand or with a pipe wrench. Thus, if you have a clogged drain, remove and try a drain cleaning mechanism.
If you take these steps and your drain is still clogged or simply running slow, you might have a bigger problem than just grease coating the walls of your drain. To find out what is wrong with your drain, you should call in plumbers who will have special cameras for conducting inspections and the ability to correct complicated problems.