How to Keep Your Household Drains Clog-Free

Published: 23rd June 2010
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You're doing the dishes one night when you suddenly notice that your wedding ring is gone. Panicked, it finally dawns on you that your ring has been swept down the drain.

According to a national survey of plumbing contractors, losing a wedding ring is not uncommon. In fact, plumbers routinely find strange things in household drains - from a two and a half pound trout and a six pack of beer to automobile parts and even a bedspread!

Aside from stowing your bedspread away from the sink, there are a number of steps can you take to avoid clogged drains and potentially expensive drain cleaning maintenance calls.

Kitchen Sinks

The key is to remove kitchen waste properly:

• Do not pour grease down the kitchen sink.

• Do not pour coffee grounds down the sink.

• Do not feed your sink food. It doesn't get hungry.

Many people think that they can put most anything down their disposal. The garbage disposal is there to help break down food particles that slip into the drain accidentally. If food items like potato peels, carrot peels, strawberry stems, etc. are consistently fed down the sink, the ground up particles will slowly build up and create a clogged drain.

If you do accidentally pour grease or oil into your sink, immediately add a few tablespoons of a grease-cutting dish washing detergent and run very hot water for about 5 minutes. This is a quick and easy drain cleaning trick to take care of a potentially messy problem.

Bathroom Sinks and Bath Tubs

Clean shower drain strainers routinely. Some showers and tubs have strainers that are screwed into the drain opening. Unscrew them and use a wire to clear out built-up debris, which you may not always be able to see. Also, be sure to scour the strainer before replacing it. At a minimum, do this at least once every few months.

Pop-up sink stoppers should be lifted out and rinsed weekly. When hair and soap accumulate, they will quickly slip down into the pipes and cause bigger plumbing problems.

Use a hair-catching drain insert, which can be found at your local plumbing supply store. These catch most of the hair and other debris that lead to clogged drains without interfering with your drainage system.

Don't use your bathtub for major cleaning projects. While it might seem like a good idea to clean engine parts or other nasty things in the tub, you're actually washing more grease and substances down the drain than it was designed to handle. Instead, use a tub or basin that isn't connected to any drains to prevent clogging and other unwanted side effects.

Many people bathe their dogs in the bathtub because you can regulate the water temperature. Before bringing Fido into the tub, make sure to give him a good brushing first to remove loose hair, and then use a hair-catching insert to keep fur from washing down the drain.

These simple tips won't prevent all clogged drains, but they are a good place to start. Nothing grinds a household to a stop like a waiting for a drain cleaning techniques to work! Be proactive and take steps to stop these plumbing problems before they occur.

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