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2 Reasons to Maintain Your Kitchen Drain Stack

by Patti Althoff - Siwicki | May 23, 2017 | Property Manager, Plumbing | 1 Comment

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How much thought have you given your residential kitchen drain stack over the last few years? Kitchen drain stacks span the entirety of your building from the roof to the sublevels, connecting every nearby kitchen in your condo building. As your residents pour grease, fats, oils and food trimming down the kitchen drain, those solids can slowly build-up over time, causing clogs and backups.

Vertical Drain Pipe Clogs

The kitchen drain stack is a vertical drain pipe. Anytime anyone rinses something down the drain, including soap, dirty dishwater, grease, fats, oils, meat trimming and vegetable waste, it flows down the drain pipe and into the sewer system. If enough fat, grease, oils and solids are poured down the drains, they will start to congeal as they cool, resulting in slow drains for multiple units and partial and complete clogs. If the clog is severe enough, it can cause the pipe to backup.

Benefits of Kitchen Drain Stack Cleaning

Drain stack cleaning involves performing a camera inspection of the pipe to determine the level of filth and the degree of the clogs. Then, the drain stack is thoroughly cleaned, usually with a hydrojet or with preventative rodding. Hydrojetting drain lines completely removes clogs and debris without harming the environment or your pipes with caustic chemicals. Power rodding involves using a semi-rigid cable with some type of hook, ball or claw at the end. The rod is used to either push clogs out of the line or to grip clogs and pull them out.

1. Prevent Partial and Complete Clogs

When it comes to keeping drain lines clean, it’s important to inform your residents of the items they should never put down their kitchen and bathroom drains. Items that should never be put down drains include, paper products that aren’t toilet paper, grease, fat, meat trimming, vegetable peels and fruit rinds. Unit owners should also never dispose of egg shells, coffee grounds, rice or pasta down sinks. Unfortunately, in spite of your best efforts at keeping your residents informed, some may still put these forbidden items down their drains. Over time, from a period of months to years, those items can collect in the vertical drain pipe, causing partial and complete clogs. In order to keep your vertical drain stacks flowing freely, you should consider having your drain pipes professionally cleaned on a regular basis.

2. Prevent Vertical Drain Pipe Backups

Drain pipe backups from the vertical drain pipe connecting the kitchen in your condo building is typically considered blackwater. Blackwater typically contains excrement in the form of urine or feces, but this classification can also be expanded to include water that has a lot of organic material, including food particles. This water is extremely dangerous because it contains tons of bacteria, mold and other pathogens as well as many different types of dissolved chemicals. Coming in direct contact with blackwater is extremely hazardous to human health, and when your kitchen drain stack becomes completely clogged, additional water can fill the stack, backing up into sinks, dishwashers and any other water-using appliances that are connected to the stack. Having your drain stack cleaned on a regular basis can prevent backups.

Repairing Condo Drain Problems with Help from Althoff

Here at Althoff of Chicago, our professional plumbers can inspect your drain lines and determine the best course of action to repair your condo drain problems. Our drain line inspections include threading a camera through your drain lines to determine if there is any pipe corrosion, cracks or breaks and to locate all the clogs in the line. Once we know the extent of the damage to your pipe, we will recommend a solution, which could include hydrojetting or power rodding your drain lines and/or replacing severely damaged sections of pipes.

To schedule a drain pipe cleaning to solve your condo drain problems, call us at 800-225-2443.

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