A clogged drain can be a major inconvenience. Sewage backups can create unsanitary conditions, sinks and showers won’t drain and your toilets may be completely unusable.
While you might be able to clear out minor clogs yourself, major clogs will hold up your whole household until a licensed plumber can come in to repair it. If you find your drains repeatedly clogged, the time and money wasted to continually fix the problem can be frustrating. Preventing clogs can help to avoid this frustration and mess in the first place, so keep your drains clear and unclogged with these 4 simple tips.
1. Place hair catchers in your drains
Hair that goes down the bathroom sink during shaving or down the shower drain during bathing is a major culprit for clogged drains. Hair can easily build up in the pipes, catching other debris and eventually creating an impassable clog. This can result in the need for drain snaking or hydrojetting to clear the line and make your drain usable again. The best way to avoid clogs formed from hair is to place hair catchers or grates in the drain. These allow water to pass through while catching hair, which can then be easily removed and thrown away, without passing into the sewage system.
2. Use beard trimming mats to catch hair
Beard hair trimmings are often so small, it can easily pass into and clog the sink before you know it. To prevent hair from even reaching the sink or drain during shaving, you can use a beard trimming mat. Beard trimming mats are like a large cloth sheet that can be stuck to the mirror with suction cups, then draped over the sink and counter. While shaving, hair that might otherwise fall onto the counter and sink is instead caught by the beard trimming mat. This allows for easy disposal of the loose hair while leaving your sink area cleaner.
3. Brush your hair before getting into the shower
Another way to reduce the amount of hair affecting your drains is by simply brushing your hair before you get into the shower. A quick brush will remove much of the loose hair that would otherwise fall out in the shower. This prevents it from going down the drain. It takes just a few moments to do this and it can save you the time, money, and hassle associated with a clogged or backed up drain. This same approach can be used when you plan to bathe your dogs—brush their fur first to remove loose hair.
4. Use caution when disposing of items in the kitchen
The bathroom is not the only place in the home where clogs can start. Debris, food scraps and oil washed down the sink in the kitchen can be a major cause of clogs. Large food scraps from dish rinsing can build up to form a clog, while cooking oil and other fat can combine with debris or hair to form a stubborn blockage. Always put large food scraps in the trash or down the garbage disposal. Put oily or fatty foods in the trash rather than down the drain. You can also run hot water down the drain to clear out the pipes after doing dishes.
5. Be aware of what you flush
Your toilet is not a garbage disposal and it’s important to never treat it like one. The only thing that should ever go down your toilet is human waster and toilet paper. Avoid flushing anything else, including pet waste, nappies, wet wipes, sanitary items or paper towels, as these are major clog culprits.
What to do when a clog does occur
Even with some preventative methods, clogs can still happen. You can always take DIY approaches to resolving a clog by plunging it or turning to commercial drain products. However, in some cases, a clog may be indicative of a bigger problem, such as tree root infiltration or sewer issues. Recurring or stubborn clogs should always be investigated further by a professional licensed plumber to ensure your system stays clean and functional.