10 Items You Shouldn’t Wash Down Your Kitchen Sink

10 Items You Shouldn't Wash Down Your Kitchen Sink

We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished dinner and a long day, and you just want the washing up to be done so you can crawl into bed. Or you’re groggily walking into the kitchen the morning after a big night and can’t believe the mess you made. 

In these times it can be tempting to wash anything and everything you can down the sink. It’s easy, it’s fast and it means you can have a clean kitchen sooner. So, what’s the harm, right?

Wrong. While we know it’s easier, washing a number of different things down your sink can be dangerous for your plumbing system and lead to cracked pipes, blockages or worse. 

Here’s our advice for 10 things you should avoid washing down your kitchen sink. 

1. PASTA 

The plumbing system that connects to your sink has a fixed width. The semolina in pasta can cause it to absorb liquid and swell which means that too washing too much down the drain can block, or worse, corrode your pipes. 

2. BONES

Especially those from beef, pork, lamb or poultry. Bones from these animals are big enough that they can cause a blockage in your sink and leads to overflows that can damage your plumbing system and your property. 

3. GREASE

This liquid can stick to the inside of your pipes, and the pipes that your water flows into in the street, causing major blockages over time. If you’re looking for other options, leave the grease to cool first, and then dispose of it in your rubbish bin.

4. FLOUR  

Much like pasta, flour coagulates when mixed with water. This mixture when washed down the drain can coat the edges of your pipes and catch other bits of food or debris that is washed down, which can cause a blockage and break down your pipes. 

5. UNUSED MEDICATION

Tipping or dissolving unused medication down the sink may seem harmless, but the truth is that the chemicals you’re getting rid of may end up back in your drinking water and the environment. 

6. EGGSHELLS

The impact of eggshells down the drain is very similar to flour. They can build-up and cause blockages and overflow quickly and easily. Try putting these in your compost or rubbish bin instead. 

7. MILK 

This one often catches people off guard. Milk, like all dairy products, is considered a highly polluting substance due to its high oxygen demand. This means that when it is released into environments with sewage, it can deprive other organisms of oxygen to survive. 

8. PAPER PRODUCTS

You remember spit balls from primary school? Those things you’d load up into a straw and rocket at a friend? Picture that but bigger and blocking your drainage and causing overflow in your kitchen. Putting paper products down the sink is nothing but trouble for your pipes. 

9. FRUIT AND VEGGIE STICKERS

These bad boys belong in the bin. When they get washed down your drain, they can they clog your pipes and also block filters in water treatment plants due to their adhesive being unable to dissolve in water. 

10. COFFEE GROUNDS 

Everyone loves a good brew in the morning – but what you might not is the blockages that can occur when you tip coffee grounds down the kitchen sink. Grounds can stick together and cause a blockage that cannot be easily moved with water. Instead, try using these grounds as part of your compost.

IT’S TIME TO MOVE YOUR RUBBISH BIN A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE SINK 

Disposing of liquids, solids and the in-between properly will help you preserve your pipes for longer and avoid any other damage occurring to your property as a result of blockages and overflow. 

If you do find yourself stuck in a mucky situation though, don’t fret! The team at Salmon Plumbing are more than happy to help you. Give us a call on 07 3862 2600 for any plumbing assistance you might need. 

To learn more about how you can care for your home’s plumbing system, check out our blog.

5 Reasons You Should Replace the Old Galvanised Water Pipes in Your Home

Rusted Galvanised Water Pipe
Credit: https://www.theplumbette.com.au/plumbing/what-causes-brown-water-through-taps/

Old galvanised pipe was used to plumb water into homes fifty years ago. Unfortunately, many homes still have these pipes as the source of their water lines to their home. Without a doubt, there can be issues within the plumbing of the home due to not updating these pipes to copper.

Let me ask you a question. Would you drink water sitting in a rusty bucket overnight? Probably not. But this is what many of us are doing when we drink tap water that has been through old galvanised water pipes in our homes. Older and exposed plastic pipe is also not great for our health. Old pipe work is bad for our health and can cause long term issues in other areas of the home. Here are 5 reasons why you should replace the old galvanised water pipes in your home.

1. It will improve the taste and odour of the water

Rusty water has a metallic taste and odour. It’s not particularly pleasant. When drinking and bathing in this water, it can be disconcerting to consider what impurities are being absorbed into our bodies from this contaminated water.

2. It will remove the probability of legionella bacteria

30% of homes with galvanised or old plastic piping in their home had tested for Legionella bacteria in their water supply. To avoid the growth of legionella bacteria, replace your water pipes.

3. Can prolong the life of your dishwasher and washing machine

The rusty water used through the dishwasher and washing machine can affect the effectiveness of the machine. It can also cause premature life span to your appliances.

4. Will avoid build-up of scale and sludge in hot water system

Hot water units can also be affected by rust contaminated water from galvanised pipes. Hot water units are expensive to replace. If you want to prolong the life of  your hot water unit too, consider changing your water pipes.

5. You will have clear water

This is the best benefit of all after replacing your galvanised water pipes.

We often associate brown water as dirty water. And essentially it is dirty water which has been turned brown due to the rust sediment in the pipes. This water can stain clothes, leave a film on crockery and glasses and can cause the water to be brown through the tap faucet. A brown bath anyone?

If you want to protect your belongings and avoid a brown bath, upgrade your water pipes. Clear water is healthy and vital for washing, hygiene and general wellbeing. It will also eliminate the need for a higher than normal reliance on detergents and cleaners to keep your items clean because of the brown water. This can help save money and the environment.

For help replacing the old galvanised water pipes in your home, contact Salmon Plumbing for an inspection.

How to Prevent a Moat Around Your House When the Rains Do Hit

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Summer is our wet season in Queensland and spring is the ideal time to check the external plumbing around your home. No one wants a moat around their house when the rains do hit.

Here are some checks and maintenance tips you can do around your house to ensure the water flows where it needs to go.

1. Clean the roof and remove debris

The roof is the largest surface area of the home, which is the first surface to be hit by rain. Ensure the roof is clean and debris-free so that when the rain does hit, it doesn’t wash away debris through the gutters or downpipes, causing a blockage.

2. Empty gutters of leaf debris

Cleaning gutters is an important job every spring to ensure there is no debris preventing the water from flowing through each channel to the storm water drains. Ensure the gutters are cleaned every spring. Leaf matter can break down and congeal in downpipes. This can cause a back-up of water when it rains, and this water has nowhere to go except overflow the edges of the gutters, falling around the house often causing an external flood.

3. Inspect rusty gutters and down pipes and ensure correct fall

Every spring, your gutters and down pipes should be inspected for rust and openings which can cause a water to fall through, instead of being directed away from the home through the existing storm water drainage. Get rusty gutters and down pipes replaced as soon as possible to avoid the inconvenience of an external flood.

Also check for backfall of gutters. The correct fall ensures the water flows towards the downpipes, not away from them.

4. Inspect storm water grates

Often rain events can wash away sand and dirt down storm water grates. This needs to be emptied to ensure a free channel of water to flow through when the next rain event hits.

5. Get your plumber to calculate the right number of downpipes for your roof surface area

Some houses just don’t have enough down pipes to meet the capacity of water fall from the surface area of their roof. If you think this is a problem at your property, call Salmon Plumbing out to investigate and offer a solution. This could be an opportunity to add a rainwater tank or two to be prepared for drought.

6. Have the correct sized storm water pipes underground

Most storm water pipes underground around houses are 90mm PVC. Often this pipe is not big enough for the amount of water that flows through the down pipes. Upgrading these pipes can help prevent a moat situation around your house during a heavy rain event.

Keeping gardens maintained and away from storm water grates ensures water can flow to where it needs to go when it matters most.

The external plumbing to your home is vitally important to prevent floods around your house. External floods can cause damage inside your house, by seeping through window and door openings. It’s an inconvenience that can be avoided with the right storm water drainage around your home.

Another health concern to be aware of is any type of pooling of water in gutters and around the home can also attract mosquitoes. The pools of water offer mozzies the the perfect spot to breed. This is a health concern as mosquitoes can spread the Zika Virus and Ross River Fever. Ensuring adequate storm water drainage can prevent mozzies making a home at your home.

If you have a storm water blockage or have concerns about how rain water is channeled away from your home, give Salmon Plumbing a call. Our plumbers can offer solutions so you’re better prepared when the wet weather hits this summer.