“You’re standing in the shower. There’s a puddle of water up to your ankles and you wonder why your drain won’t do its job. There are several things that cause any drain to clog, and many of them are preventable if you know what to look out for.”
The majority of the time hair is the primary culprit of a clogged drain (in the bathroom at least). Along with dirt and skin flakes, hair binds to the soap residue on the walls of your drain pipes. Hair also wraps itself around the drain plug and prevents the flow of water into the pipes. It’s essential, however, to catch it before it gets to the entryway of your pipes. That can cause real trouble to your pipes, and the only solution at that point is to call a professional.
The best way to prevent this is to put a drain catcher down to keep the hair from going down the sink or drain in the first place.
2. Cooking Grease
Grease and oil is another material that will cling to the lining of your pipes. It isn’t dissolvable by water, so it maintains its structure as it goes down the sink. This will occur with any fatty substance such as oil and butter.
To prevent this, pour your leftover grease into a jar or container until it dries into a solid. Then scrape the solid into the trash. Anything less that won’t pour out, just take a paper towel and soak it up.
Undissolved food particles are a big factor in clogged drains. Even if you have a disposal in your sink, it won’t catch everything. Rice expands in water and won’t necessarily be caught by your disposal. This makes it easy for those smaller particles to stack up in your drain and prevent the flow of water.
Make it easy on yourself: just dump your extra food into the trash can, or if you’re environmentally savvy, put it in your compost.
Many of us are lazy when it comes to protecting our toilet from clogs. It’s easy to watch things swirl around and go out of site, but they might come back to haunt us when the sewage tank backs up. You’ll want to avoid putting anything besides toilet paper down the drain. This includes feminine hygiene products, cotton-tipped swabs, dental floss, and pre-moistened diaper wipes.
They all need to go in the trash or it won’t be a nice day when they keep anything else from flushing. For convenience, it’s easy to keep a trash can by the toilet to make the right choice for your pipes.
5. Broken Pipes
This one isn’t as preventable, but you can be on the lookout for it. Tree roots are known to break into pipes, and no one knows the difference. The clogs can mask as one of the problems above, but it’s something much more serious.
The best solution to this problem is to call a professional plumber. While they’re there, they can always check your other pipes and clean out those clogs too to give your pipes (and you) a fresh start!