The culprint of clogged pipe; Oatmeal

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by netmouse, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. netmouse

    netmouse Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    Well, this was a very expensive lesson learned. I'm sure all you experienced plumbers know this. My recent posts are about a clogged kitchen drain, now snaked and resolved.

    I had the garbage disposer removed, and with a new strainer I could see the cause of my expensive problem. About 4 years ago I began having a large bowl of oatmeal with banana for breakfast every morning. My cholesterol is nice and low. With a strainer, I noticed a few very small bits of oatmeal clung to it when washing the bowl, while most washed down the drain. The sticky particles would not rinse away even with a strong stream of water. I realized the microwave bowl was always very sticky when washing it. Reading up, I learned that oatmeal is like flour with water and forms a glue-like paste. As I don't fry with grease and I scrape plates into the garbage can, there is really nothing else going down the drain. I have to believe that a slow accumulation of oatmeal particles clung to the pipe down where the bend was to the sewer pipe and plugged it up. One big glued plug. Geez, what about all those oatmeal bath products? Must keep plumbers busy and in business.

    A side note, in my research on whether to keep or remove the disposer, I read articles on what NOT to put down a disposer that left me wondering why anyone would install one.
     
  2. Bill Shack

    Bill Shack 30years plumbing 10years plumbing inspector

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    montreal quebec Canada
    Garburators give plummers a lot of work. You should never put down any thing with fiber, Plants, banana peel tops, Coconut fiber, Leaves, artichoke leaves. celery stalks, roots, I am sure the plummers here could go on for pages. I tell all my customers NOT to install a garburator, and the only thing to down the drain is dirty water and soap. NOTHING else. or you will call me time and material.
     
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  4. netmouse

    netmouse Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    "...the only thing to (go) down the drain is dirty water and soap"

    Make that liquid soap. For years now I have used liquid soap in the laundry and in the bathrooms, along with a plastic hair catcher on drains. Never again bars of soap or powder detergent. And those areas have had gloriously free flowing water. And no soap scum to clean up around the shower and sink. Heaven.
     
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