Clogged drains are a common plumbing problem that can become worse if left unattended. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent clogged drains in your home.
Pour boiling water down your drains once a week to help melt any grease and maintain a clear passage through your pipes. You can also use a wire coat hanger bent into a hook to remove hair and gunk from the drain.
Don’t Dump Anything Down the Drain
Treating your drains like garbage disposals can lead to many problems including clogged pipes. You should never put coffee grounds, egg shells, grease, kitty litter, or other non-food items down your kitchen or bathroom drains. These substances do not break down and will build up over time, causing a clog in your pipes that may require professional help to fix.
Cooking oil and grease can also cause clogged drains, as they solidify and cling to the sides of your pipes restricting water flow and leading to blockages. The best way to dispose of cooking oil is to let it cool and then pour it in the trash or into a container for proper disposal.
You can prevent most minor clogs by regularly using a plunger or a drain snake. If you have a serious clog that neither of these tools can fix, consider hiring a plumber to use a wire drain snake (a length of tightly wound wire) to clear the clog.
Don’t Use Chemical Cleaners
Clogged drains are like traffic jams in your plumbing system, and they can be very frustrating. They restrict water flow, and they can also make your house smell dreadful. Here are some tips for preventing drain problems and keeping them from getting worse:
Avoid caustic chemical cleaners. These are usually an acid, and while they will sometimes dissolve a clog, they also can damage your pipes. These cleaners can also be dangerous for your family and pets.
Instead, use a plunger and, if that doesn’t work, a plumber’s snake. The snake is a long, thin metal rod with a handle and crank at one end and an auger at the other. Push the snake into a drain until you hit an obstruction (a bend in your pipe or a clog). Then, turn the crank to disengage the auger and pull it back out. Repeat this until you have removed the clog.
Keep a Trash Can or Bag in the Kitchen
A clogged drain is an inconvenience for everyone. It can make your kitchen a less-than-pleasant place to cook and clean, plus it restricts water flow throughout the home. It is much cheaper to focus on prevention than it is to pay for a plumber to clear a drain.
Food waste, coffee grounds, potato peels, and eggshells can all cause clogs in sinks
and disposals. A strainer over the drain can help, but you should also keep a trash can in the kitchen. Cigarette butts, paper, and gum can clump together and create hard-to-remove clogs.
Pour a cup of vinegar down a drain every week — it’s an easy and natural DIY cleaner that eliminates organic buildup in pipes. The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves grease and soap scum. You can even try making a homemade drain cleaner with baking soda and vinegar, which works just as well as store-bought chemicals but is safer for the environment.
Keep Hair Out of the Drains
One of the most common reasons a home gets a drain clog is because of hair. This is especially true in the shower and bathroom sinks. This is why it is best to keep hair out of the drains as much as possible. Brushing your hair before showering and shaving is a good way to minimize the amount of loose hair that ends up down your drains. You should also be sure to flush your drains on a weekly basis with hot water, baking soda, or salt.
To remove hair from your drains, try using a snaking tool. These are reusable or disposable, and they can easily snake through your drain line and pull out any hair that is stuck. If you don’t have a snaking device, use a hook made out of an old wire coat hanger to fish the hair out of the drain. This can be messy, but it is a safe and effective method for removing hair.
If you find yourself unable to unclog a drain, consult a plumber in Somerton Park who will have the experience and equipment to help.