While it is a well-known fact that plumbing drains need some TLC from time to time, several tips can help you to avoid nasty drain clogs in between your regularly scheduled professional drain cleanings. And in most cases, these tips are more reference about what to avoid placing in your drains to prevent unnecessary clogs and issues.
While you might look at your garbage disposal as a creature that can consume anything, that is not the case. Many items will cause unnecessary wear to the grinding mechanism and create clogs in your drain pipes. Most disposal manufacturers provide a list of these undesirable items on their website, but most include:
- Poultry skin
- Banana peel
- Fruit pits
- Coffee grounds
- Grease/ cooking oil
Not only can these items damage your disposal, but they are also not likely to be ground up small enough to flow through your drains without becoming lodged in the pipe and forming a clog. Avoiding these items will help to prevent replacing a broken or damaged garbage disposal and will eliminate some potential drain blockages.
There is a common misconception about dumping cooled cooking oil, grease, and fat into the toilet for disposal. We have already eliminated the possibility of washing these oils down the sink. But put flushing them in the same category. Even though toilets are designed to handle solids, greasy solids should not be introduced. You are just moving the problem of residue build-up from your sink drain to your toilet drain. As a rule, all grease and oil should be cooled and disposed of as a solid in your trash.
Another odd but true misconception is that it is ok to flush dental floss once you have used it. This is going to cause severe clog at some point. Dental floss is designed to be shed-resistant to do its job correctly. So when you flush it, this durable material gets tangled with other debris and creates a clump that will not flow through drain pipes and sewage systems. Take the extra second to toss it in the trash and save yourself the cost of a clog removal from your sewer drain.
Hair is another one of those items that seem harmless to slide down a sink or tub drain. How could something so tiny create an issue? But add that fibrous mass to some soap and shampoo residue, and you have the beginning of a world-class clog. And just like dental floss, flushing is also not a good idea. Toss it in the trashcan, and know that it is gone forever and will not return to your home on the end of a plumbing snake in several months. To help avoid the hairball issue in your tubs and showers, install a mesh screen over the drain to catch all of the loose hair that is headed for your drain. These screens can be found for about a buck and will save you a lot of money over a few years.
While nothing can replace the 100% cleaning that you get from a professional high-pressure drain cleaning. But there is a tip that can help you to remove the unwanted odor from your drains and some of the residue that builds up between professional cleanings. All you need are a few harmless ingredients that you will find in your pantry. First, pour a cup of baking soda down each drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Allow the combination to bubble and remove any grime stuck to the inside of the drain pipes and then flush with water to wash away any lingering debris. This method is safe for any drain pipe and will not harm any sink, tub, or shower.
Remember, over time, drains clog just because of the nature of their job. But when this happens, don’t be tempted to take matters into your own hands and try a jug of chemical drain cleaner. These harsh products never get the job done. And they often cause expensive damage to your drain pipes. Call (214) 388-4525 when you have a clogged drain issue and know that a licensed Metroplex Leak & Line professional will remove the clog and clean your drains safely.