A clogged drain is inevitable, yet preventable, in most cases. Clogs are not only inconvenient, but they can cause damage to floors, walls, cabinets, carpet and even the electrical system. The causes are many, including inserting objects too large into the drain, grease build-up, roots in your main drain outside the walls of the home or business, improperly constructed plumbing and neglect, to name a few. Here are tips that will help you keep your plumbing system clog free and trouble-free.
- How do you dispose of any greasy substance? Don’t pour it down the kitchen sink. Wait for cooking grease to cool and allow it to solidify. Then put it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage bin.
- Garbage disposals are not all the same. They usually include basic, medium duty and heavy duty. A basic disposer will not dispose of waste such as small bones, shrimp peelings or even lemon peels. And don’t overfill your garbage disposer. Instead feed small amounts of waste into the disposal along with a continuous supply of cool or lukewarm water. Hot water is not recommended. Fruit and vegetable peels and other fibrous substances can be the primarily responsible for clogs because many garbage disposals cannot finely grind these materials efficiently. Test small amounts first and listen for the smooth operation of the internal blades after the waste has drained. If you hear anything that sounds loud, turn off the disposer to avoid damage. Sometimes eating utensils, plastics or bottle caps can be caught up in the otherwise acceptable waste. NEVER place your hand inside a running garbage disposer! Use a flashlight first to try to detect any foreign objects or clogs and us pincers or other utilities for removal before restarting.
- Unclogging a kitchen sink can be tricky. If the sink has only one drain, you can try the standard toilet plunger. Just be warned that without a tight fit on the drain opening, you can be in for a mess. Double drain sinks require one of the drains to be fully covered before using a plunger on the other side. Visit sites like youtube.com for ways to make this work for you. Or, try a liquid drain cleaner. Just follow the directions carefully. Or if you’re handy, you can try disconnecting the trap under the sink to clean it out. Be sure you place a pan or bucket under it first to catch the residual drain water.
- Practice a weekly prevention procedure by filling your kitchen sink with hot water, and letting it drain. This additional step will aid in pushing debris to the larger diameter piping inside the wall and outside to the main drain.
Bathroom Sinks (and Bathtubs, too)
- Stoppers and drain covers should be kept intact in order to prevent any foreign objects from accidentally going down the drain.
- Hair & soap scum can also cause clogging of bathroom drains. It is advisable to keep excess hair aside out of the drain. A slow drain is an indication of a clog about to build. Your local hardware, Lowes, or Home Depot carry inexpensive tools to extract hair from bathroom sinks without having to perform any disassembly. Search their websites for “drain cleaning tool” to find what you need.
- Avoid flushing anything except toilet paper, including so-called “flushable” wipes, and feminine hygiene products. Some municipal waste management systems cannot adequately capture these items before they build up and cause major issues. In the home or restrooms, because these items are more bulky, and do not disintegrate quickly enough to avoid build up in drains, they can cause a clogged toilet.
- If you intend to buy a new toilet, it is advisable to do some research or ask a professional for recommendations. The US EPA has placed restrictions on the amount of water allowed for one flush of a toilet. In cheaper toilets, the trapway, that “S” shaped area at the base and rear of the toilet, is often not fully glazed internally. The glaze makes a smoother path for the waste to flow through. A fully glazed trapway implies a stronger flushing toilet, which can help to prevent clogging. An incompletely glazed trapway can cause slower flushing and inhibit compete evacuation of waste. You may also contact us for selection as well as installation of new toilet.
- In case multiple toilets at your location are facing the same issue, at the same time, the stoppage problem may be located in the main sewage line. In this case, it is advisable to contact a licensed, professional plumber to fix things properly and avoid future problems.
- The first thing to try for a single clogged toilet is the standard toilet plunger. This would be done after removing any large items visible above the water surface using rubber gloves and a handy plastic bag to place it in. Again, take care to make short, carefully positioned plunging pressure to avoid a mess. Plungers with a sealing lip make a better seal in the drain hole and give better results.
Prevention is better than cure. However, if you need services of an expert, contact Dallas Plumbing & Air Conditioning for your clogged sinks and drains. We offer 24/7 emergency services for your convenience. We would love to help you.