Bacon Grease & Why It’s Bad for Plumbing

June 1st, 2022 | Tips & Tricks, Plumbing

Bacon Grease & Why It's Bad for Plumbing

Why Is Bacon Grease Bad For Plumbing?

Is bacon grease bad for plumbing? While there are many things you should never rinse down the kitchen drains in your Orange, CA, home, bacon grease tops that list. Unfortunately, many people don’t know about the damage bacon grease causes to a plumbing system. Too many people are still pouring bacon grease down their drains.

While the clog might not form immediately after grease goes through your drain, it will happen. This is the worst type of drain blockage you can experience, and it’s especially challenging for any plumbing expert to clear. Additionally, bacon grease damages the pipes in your home’s plumbing system and the sewage system in your city. 

Bacon grease has some characteristics that make it ideal for clogging drains. These factors work together to help this grease become an almost impenetrable substance once it settles. The following traits of this substance demonstrate why it’s never okay to pour it down the drains in your Orange, CA, home.

It Hardens Quickly

If you have ever let a pan of bacon grease sit on your stovetop, you’ll know that it quickly hardens to become a thick, white substance. This same process occurs when you pour grease down your drain. The grease will harden even faster as it comes into contact with your cool plumbing pipes. Before long, it will be thick and hard enough to block water.

Grease Is Very Sticky

The sticky nature of grease causes it to cling to the interior walls of your pipes even in its hot, liquid form. As it hardens, it forms a gooey coating on your pipes. That coating will catch pasta, vegetables, and anything else you rinse down your drain. Before long, you’ll have a tough clog that will require the plumbing repair services of a professional.

There’s a Cumulative Effect

If you cook bacon frequently, you’re probably pouring bacon grease down your drain on regular occasions. As more grease is poured into your drain, it will cling to the grease that’s already coating your pipes. This causes layers upon layers of grease to collect. 

By the time you call for plumbing repair to fix the problem, you could have a length of bacon grease 10 feet long or longer filling your pipes.

The Breakdown of Grease Causes More Problems

Over time, grease will break down into fatty acids and glycerol. These will interact with the calcium in the sewage pipes to create a thick, soapy substance that is harder and stickier than the original bacon grease from which it was formed. Even the best plumbing expert will find these deposits extremely difficult to remove.

What Does Bacon Grease Do to Plumbing and Sewage Pipes?

Along with fat and oil, bacon grease does more than simply create frustrating clogs that require plumbing repair in Orange, CA, homes. It actually causes damage that can require the replacement of pipes throughout the system. 

Here are the most common ways that grease damages the pipes in residential plumbing systems and the city’s sewage infrastructure.

How It Damages Your Home’s Plumbing

Bacon grease tends to settle and harden in the curves and elbows of your plumbing system due to the force of gravity. Since bacon grease becomes heavier as it hardens, it will put added stress on the pipes in these areas. Over time, more grease buildup will strain the pipes and lead to fractures, tears, and other damages. 

In this case, you will need to call a plumbing expert to replace those segments of pipe. They will also have to spend time cleaning the adjacent pipes to get rid of the buildup of grease and fat.

How Bacon Grease Affects the Sewage System

In a recent incident in Whitechapel, London, municipal workers were forced to remove from the sewer a segment of fat and food debris (aka a “fatberg”) that was 820 feet long. The fatberg was estimated to weigh 130 tons. In the United States, these fatbergs lead to 47% of all sewer overflows. 

In New York City, 71% of their sewage backups are attributed to grease, oil, and fat. Over a five-year span, it was estimated that the city spent $5 million to remove fatbergs from their sewers.

How Should You Handle Bacon Grease?

If you can’t pour bacon grease down your kitchen drain, what should you do with it? There are actually a few different options to consider that can help you reduce your need for plumbing repair services.

Cook with It

Some people save bacon grease to reuse it for another meal. One example that’s especially popular is to use leftover bacon grease to fry eggs. It gives the eggs a smoky flavor that enhances the taste. 

Scrape It into the Trash

An easy disposal method is to wait for the bacon grease to harden in the pan. As previously noted, this will only take a short time. Once the grease hardens, you can use a spoon to scoop it into the trash. 

If you have pets, you may want to put the hardened grease into a disposable container before throwing it in the trash. This will keep curious noses from sniffing out the grease.

Grill Your Bacon

If you have a grill, line a grill pan with parchment paper to catch the grease. As you grill your bacon, the grease will collect and congeal on the paper. Once the grease has cooled, simply discard the grease-filled parchment paper. This makes the cleanup of your grill easier, too!

Speed Up the Process

You can speed up the cleanup process if you’re in a hurry. Find an old plastic food container and pour the grease into it. You can put the container in your refrigerator or freezer to speed up the congealing process. In no time at all, you can discard the grease and container.

Call Us for Help with Tough Clogs

When you have a tough drain blockage, call Moffett Plumbing & Air. We’re the Orange, CA, plumbing expert you need to take care of plumbing problems quickly and efficiently. Our certified and experienced technicians can clear your drains and provide any repair work you need to keep your home’s plumbing in peak condition.

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.