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Old 16-04-2017, 13:57   #1
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Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Yes we all have this problem, over time grease build up in the drain pipe and since it floats on water some of it always stays in the plumbing (as most of us have thru-hull drains below the water line).
I know how to clear it with a short snake and a lot of hot water.... But does anyone have a way to prevent this? (other than don't let grease go down the sink cause that is impossible).
Enzymes, bacteria, special shrimp....
thanks
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Old 16-04-2017, 15:48   #2
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

In all of our years of cruising, grease in the drain has never been a problem for us, even rinsing with bilge temp water. I'd be inclined to make sure you have a straight shot, eliminate curves or kinks in the drain line. You could try near boiling water and household ammonia down it, or even dive and put a plumbers friend over the outlet, then fill from the top with tsp (trisodium phosphate) dissolved according to the instructions. (Calculate how much it will take, first: pi times the radius squared times ,the length of the run.) Let it set, it will become soap over time, then remove the plumbers friend. Rinse with warm water. (If you tie a light line to the handle and bring it back aboard, you won't have to dive twice.)

As to prevention, well, I never put grease intentionally down the sink, I dispose of it separately. Probably helps, but who knows?

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Old 16-04-2017, 16:06   #3
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Never thought of using TSP or Lime to turn it into soap.
Bends and curves are required. My pipe is stainless with two bends before it dives down to a normal hose and out the thru-hull. Stainless cools off quickly and any grease will stick to it.
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Old 16-04-2017, 17:00   #4
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

How about hot water from your h w heater . Never had an issue after 36 yrs.
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Old 16-04-2017, 17:02   #5
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Unless it's a small amount in the bottom of a frying pan that can be dissolved easily in a little bit of soap, I never put grease down a sink whether on land or on a boat. It goes in a container in the fridge to harden and then scooped out on garbage day.
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Old 16-04-2017, 17:21   #6
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
...It goes in a container in the fridge to harden and then scooped out on garbage day.
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDIN' ME!
Seriously?
Do you realize how much a good Pomade runs nowadays?

HMPF! Some folks just can't seem to appreciate how much it takes for a man to look good these days!







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Old 16-04-2017, 18:12   #7
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Get some Lye from the hardware store.
Pour a bit in and then close the sea cock then fill with lye. It will convert the grease to soap.

Remember, lye is mixed with fat to make soap.

Don't leave it in too long... and wear gloves!

Flush it out well.
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Old 16-04-2017, 18:27   #8
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

I don't agree about the lye, because of not knowing what the seacocks are made of, it might react badly with sodium hydroxide. I know we used to use lye or potassium hydroxide to clear galvanized pipe drains, but will it attack the copper in bronze through-hull fittings, or s/s? Sorry, I'm not enough of a chemist to know. If it was okay in iron, it's probably okay in s/s, but....need a better informed opinion here than mine.

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Old 16-04-2017, 19:00   #9
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmac View Post
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDIN' ME!
Seriously?
Do you realize how much a good Pomade runs nowadays?

HMPF! Some folks just can't seem to appreciate how much it takes for a man to look good these days!







What was it you were saying about people spending too much time on the internet? lol
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:31   #10
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Poor a coca cola down the sink and toilets. Also vinegar in the sink. Both have an acid effect and will create a smooth surface for future problems.
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:31   #11
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Yes, lye (crystals sold in supermarkets under the trade name "Draino" in these parts) attacks copper and other metals including SS. It's a constant problem in rental apartments. Tenant: "My sink leaks! There's water in the cupboard under the sink" LL: "Hm.. there are pinholes in your P-trap. Have you been using Draino?" Tenant: "Of course! I like to make sure you can't complain about my housekeeping". LL: "Okay, I appreciate that. Let's change that old copper P-trap for an ABS one"

TP
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:33   #12
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

Solved with boiling water followed by a gallon of warm water to force it all out.
I'll try the TSP in a couple months it may be safer than Lye.
No I don't pour grease down the drain, but when normally cooking and cleaning small amounts of grease go down the drain and stick.
My problem yesterday was draining hot pasta water into the sink. Enough to melt the grease in the pipes and cause to to float to the top of the drain pipe and congeal. I'll have to be more careful about that and be sure to follow up with enough water to force any dissolved grease out the thru-hull.
Thanks
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:39   #13
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

I've never had this problem. We don't pour grease down the drain. We pour it into an old coffee can or a canned chicken can, and let it harden, then throw it in the garbage. We wipe the pan with a paper towel and throw that in the garbage. We then rub dish soap (no water) all over the pan until it turns the remaining fat into a whitish creamy substance, which also gets wiped down and disposed in the garbage. What is left won't solidify because of the soap. That gets washed like normal. no problems.
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:41   #14
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

There is a simple solution (pun intended)...its free, simple, and safe.

Pee in your sink.

The uric acid in pee combines with fat molecules to form crystals which flush away easily. When this happens in your body, its called gout, and the crystals can be painful. It might hurt the joints in your lower body, but it will not harm your pipes, hoses, fittings, or thru hulls.

It works best if you have recently eaten something like asparagus or cabbage. The sulfurous amino acids break down fat even quicker.

I suggest you try it for about a week and let us know how it goes. If you already have some blockage, you may need to ask everyone aboard to pee in the sink, including guests.

I'm surprised you don't already know about this. Sailors/Cruisers are well known to supply their guests with copious amounts of drinks in order to benefit from their pee while aboard. I hope if you have ever had drinks aboard someone else's boat you were not so rude as to take your pee with you, or waste it overboard.
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Old 17-04-2017, 09:40   #15
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Re: Grease blockage in the Galley Sink (how to prevent)

It's likely not as much grease as you think. And yes, you are not the only one who accumulates pluggage. I use to use a snake to clear it. Then I started setting up my wet/dry vacuum hose on blow to clear it. I was over thinking it, as I suspect is also common from what I read hear.

I found a small plunger that lives under the galley sink. Problem solved.

As far as peeing in the sink goes, a diver in my marina once told me that he could tell the liveaboards by the buildup of ugly around the sink drains from urine.
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