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What causes a clogged kitchen sink?

Posted at 3:10 PM, Mar 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-23 10:46:08-04

Much to homeowners’ chagrin, not all kitchen scraps flush down the garbage disposal with ease. Wait, isn’t that what garbage disposals are for? Yes and no.

The cost to clear a clogged drain starts around $110, but properly disposing of kitchen waste is free and saves you from drain drama. To keep your pipes clear of debris and working as they should, avoid feeding these items to your garbage disposal.


Kitchen grease starts in liquid form, but hardens when it cools in your drain lines. Sarah Melican, office manager of highly rated All Drain Services in Dracut, Massachusetts, says to dump kitchen grease into old coffee cans or other sealed containers, and dispose of them in the trash.

Marty Rowland, owner of highly rated A & J Drain Service in Arnold, Missouri, says this includes any type of cooking oil.

Coffee grounds and eggshells
All Drain Services foreman Jose Brignoni says they get heavy when mixed with water, and can lead to a clogged pipe. Properly dispose of these in the trash, or use them in the garden.

Pasta, rice, potatoes and beans

While these items might make a delicious meal for you, they aren’t as appetizing to your drain. Brignoni says they expand when mixed with water, forming a paste-like substance, which coats the inside of the pipes.

Liquid drain cleaners
As tempting as it might be to use store-bought drain cleaners on a clogged drain, Rowland says they don’t work.

RELATED: Which drain-cleaning product do you recommend?

What if my sink is clogged?

Brignoni says customers often purchase or rent equipment to clear clogs, but lack the expertise, resulting in broken or damaged pipes.

“Instead of spending the extra time and money attempting to do it yourself, simply call the professionals to handle the issue safely and efficiently,” Melican says. “Our experience and technicians can clear the blockage and eliminate any unnecessary stress or headaches the same day so you can get back to your normal routine.”

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