May 15, 2012
One of the most common plumbing problems for Sarasota area homeowners is the dreaded clogged drain.
To help you avoid the annoyance and inconvenience of a clogged drain, our Plumbing Today plumbers compiled some tips on how to both prevent and clear a clog.
How to Prevent a Clog
Toilets, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and bathtubs and showers are the most common places for a clogged drain. Use the following tips to prevent these occurrences.
- Do not put grease or oil down your kitchen drain. Grease, fat, and other oils can adhere to your pipes. Other debris then sticks to the grease and creates a stubborn kitchen drain clog. Instead, throw grease, fat, and oils in the garbage in a sealed container.
- Install strainers on all drains. Hair commonly causes drain clogs, especially in showers and bathtubs. You can easily prevent these clogs by installing a screen or strainer on your drains and remembering to clean them regularly.
- Pay attention to what goes down your drain. Things that solidify, such as paint, glue, and wax should never be put down your drain. These items will harden inside of your pipes, causing either a partial or whole blockage.
- Remember: your toilet is NOT a wastebasket. The only thing that should ever be flushed down your toilet (besides the obvious) is toilet paper. Facial tissues, sanitary products, cotton balls, and diapers are not made to properly dissolve in water and will cause a clog if flushed down your toilet.
- When using the disposal, run cold water. Run cold water at least fifteen seconds after you turn your disposal off. This will clear the pipes of any remaining debris and help prevent clogs.
How To Clear a Clog
Of course, the drain clog prevention tips listed above won’t help you clear any clogged drains you already have. Use the tips below to clear a clog.
- Plunge first. The most effective method of removing small clogs is with a plunger. But before you start, make sure you have the right tool for the job (sink plungers and toilet plungers are different). The key to loosening a clog with a plunger is a good, airtight seal.
- Be careful with liquid drain cleaners. The most readily available liquid drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can damage your pipes. Instead, use either a more earth-friendly drain cleaner or a different method.
- Get under the sink. For clogs in a sink drain, you may be able to find the blockage by removing the drain trap under the sink. (Make sure you have a bucket ready!) If you have used chemical drain cleaners recently, you should avoid this step.
- Do not panic. If you are not able to free your drain, do not panic. Professional plumbers have a wide variety of tools at their disposal that are safe, quick, and unobtrusive.
A clogged toilet, sink, shower, or bathtub is a frustrating and bothersome problem. But, armed with these tips, you should be able to prevent and clear clogs in your home.
Plumbing Today is a division of Cool Today and Energy Today. Our plumbers have been providing Sarasota area residents with professional drain clearing service since 1963.
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Posted in: Troubleshooting