How To Avoid Plumbing Clogs
If you can remember, there were probably those times when your mom scolded you for sticking stuff down the drain. Perhaps it was the toilet, the tub, or the sink, but kids are fascinated by anything that disappears down a hole. What a fun thing to play with.
As plumbers, we are always finding things clogging the drains that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes it’s obvious what the object is and other times not. We may find an unidentifiable rubber toy thingy covered in hair and goo that’s been lodged in the bathroom sink. Naturally, this backs everything up and causes the sink to instantly fill up with every use until one day it no longer drains at all.
Let’s face it, we all take our drains and faucets for granted. We just assume that we can stick any random item down the drain and it will magically swirl away and get disposed of. The bathroom is a haven for sticky stuff. Let’s take a look at some of the things that can cause plumbing clogs.
Why Drain Clogs Happen
Hair – Ever wear yourself out trying to shake long stringy hair off your wet hands only to find that it was going nowhere? Now you know what happens inside of a faucet. Once one strand of hair has found a foothold anywhere inside the faucet, it will not let go. And inevitably all other hair strands eventually hold on for dear life.
Soap – That piece of soap that slipped out of your hands and fell down the drain can actually harden instead of melt away, blocking a clear passage for your water and other tiny debris which will build up over time. The same thing happens when people wash their hands with a bar of soap that scrapes against the bottom of the faucet. Wet hand soap chunks will stick to the tip of a faucet blocking the water passage.
Excessive Drain Cleaner – The right amount of Drano is good. Too much Drano is bad. Excessive drain cleaner corrodes the inside of pipes creating grooves that can collect substance.
Cosmetics – Some of the ingredients in lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, skin lotions, and removers are waxy substances that harden over time. If you think that lipstick melts in the sink, think again.
Q-Tips – Yes, people stick Q-Tips down the drain. Admit it, you have too. Do I have to even explain this?
Toothpaste – Just like soap, toothpaste will harden and clog a drain and the tip of a faucet. Chances are you have toothpaste residue around the outside of your faucet due to contact with the toothbrush. Chances are there’s some on the inside as well.
Jewelry – OK, this is a no-brainer. Don’t dangle your earrings or necklace over the drain, and don’t wash your hands with your rings on. Problem solved.
Avoiding Drain Clogs
- Eliminate contact with the faucet tip. Touching the faucet opening with a toothbrush, a bar of soap, or a mascara applicator is all too common, and sometimes the water pressure from the faucet is not enough to remove the residue.
- Wipe away hair in and around your sink after every use. Brush and hair dry your hair away from the sink.
- Put on and wear all jewelry in another room and stay clear of the drain.
- Use proper drain covers either pre-installed or purchased from your nearest home improvement store.
- Clean your sink daily and check for blockage in the faucet outlet.
- Take care of items dropped down the drain immediately. There’s a good chance they won’t go away.
Professional Drain Cleaning?
You may wonder what professional drain cleaning can do for you. Well, it can not only get everything out that is clogging the drain, it can also remove the buildup of bacteria, sediments, and anything else down there. It will break through toys, tree roots, and rock hard substances. The best thing about drain cleaning is having fresh, clean pipes and drains. You know how disgusting a drain can get, especially when things are clogging up down there. Have drain cleaning done for a fresh start.