Clogs happen. (Read of previous post Clogged drain? What to do.) Whether it’s from hair, kids toys, or human waste — clogs are a common part of owning a house. But, there are several easy steps you can take to avoid those nasty clogs.
Never dump grease or oil down the sink drain
Grease and oil are one of the worst things you can dump down a drain. They can solidify and coat the insides of your pipes and — before you know it — your pipes are clogged. Or worse, your pipes are completely clogged and you’ll need a professional (like Top Notch) to come clean out your pipes.
Instead of ditching the grease and oil down the drain, keep a jar or can next to the stove and pour the liquid into it when it has cooled. Then, simply throw away with your garbage.
Use a hair catcher or drain stopper in the bath
Minimize the amount of hair, thick lotions, and other solids that wash down the drain in your shower or tub by adding a hair catcher or drain stopper. There are a ton of options out there — from a few bucks to more than $50. No need to spend big money, the less costly ones typically work just as well as the expensive ones.
Don’t forget to clean your catcher and stoppers too! Weekly cleaning will help prevent buildups and clogs. This can get messy, so get a pair of inexpensive dish cleaning gloves reserved just for this task. You can also soak stoppers in a simple vinegar/water solution for 15 minutes and wipe clean. (Helps with the sometimes nasty smell too!)
Give your drains a hot water rinse
For sinks that you use on a regular basis, make sure to run hot water down the drain once a week. It may seem simple, but hot water can do wonders to prevent clogs and break up any solids that might be forming.
Know your plungers
This is more on the side of reactionary, but you might need to start with a plunger to release a clog, then move on to preventative measures. Did you know there are different plungers for different kinds of clogs?
Common Sink Plunger
These plungers are flat on the bottom, have a straight handle, and rubber cup (typically red in color). We see these in bathrooms all the time, but are better fit to unclog a sink — not a toilet — due to the way the cup seals around the drain.
These plungers have a cup like a sink plunger, but also a smaller convexed section attached to the cup that fits into toilet drains allowing for proper suction. Under no circumstances should the same plunger be used for a sink and the toilet — too much risk for cross contamination.
These are a bit harder to use, and are not recommended. These plungers have an accordion-like cup and a smaller concaved section. They require a bit of force to use and take some getting used to. Additionally, they are typically made of plastic which can be harmful to the surface of your toilet or sink.
Preventing clogs can be as simple as adding 5 minutes to your weekly routine, which could save you lots of money in the long run. If you do find yourself in a situation where you’re not able to clear a clog, give us a call and we’ll gladly come help you out. We can also talk in person about preventative measures specific to your home’s needs.
Top Notch Plumbing serves areas from Olympia to Tacoma with a variety of plumbing services including clogs, pipe inspections, water leaks & repairs, sewer & rooter services, and remodeling & new construction plumbing projects. Have a question? Ask us! firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-446-0803.