How To Prevent Clogged Drains

By Russ Brandon - 2016-07-20



If you live in a house with plumbing, you’ve probably experienced some sort of clogged drain at one time or another. The worst part is that they seem to clog at the least convenient time, if there even is such a thing. While it might not be possible for you to stop every clog, there are things you can do to help prevent or minimize the worst of the backups. Here are some tips to help you keep your drains running freely and easily.


Don’t wait for a mainline blockage.

If you experience a clogged sewer line every once in a while, don’t just keep getting it cleaned out. The majority of sewer service companies will send a remote camera down the line to see what’s causing the issue, which could be tree roots, rotted cast iron, or a partially collapsed pipe. It’s better to pay to find out what’s causing the blockage and fix it rather than keep paying for sewer backup cleaning bills and temporary fixes. Contact a local plumber, such as ExpressRooter Plumbing, to root out the problem right away.


Use bacteria to your advantage.

Organic matter causes most clogs, whether it is food, hair, or grease. Luckily there is a product made of bacteria that breaks down all the organic matter built up in your drains. Add it to your drains and it eats the organic solids that could cause clogs later. Buy the product in liquid or granular form. Add it to your drains when it can sit for a while, like when everyone goes to bed.


Install a lint catcher on your washing machine hose.

Bits of fabric, lint, tissue, and even a sock can get into your washer’s drain hose and cause havoc in your drain. To stop this kind of debris from clogging up your drain, put a lint trap on the end of the drain hose; use an old nylon stocking or buy a mesh lint trap at a hardware or home centre store. Check the trap regularly and replace it when it’s full. If your washer empties into a sink, you can also buy traps that snap into the drain hole of your laundry tub.


Don’t dump grease.

One of the absolute worst things you can put into your drain is grease. Warm grease is liquid and runs down your drain until you add cold water, which congeals the grease into a solid. Other debris gets stuck in it, and before too long you have a major clog. The best way to avoid this is to avoid putting any kind of grease in your drain. Collect your cooking grease in a jar and scrape it into the trash when it’s full. Or buy a container that is meant to hold bacon grease to use for cooking. Business Insider has an in-depth article about why you shouldn't pour grease down the drain.


Don’t rinse grout, cement, or joint compound down the drain.

This one seems obvious: don’t rinse joint compound, grout, or cement down your drain! Setting-type joint compounds undergo a chemical reaction when they harden and will set up into a rock-hard clog. Sand, a major ingredient in cement and grout, is terrible for drains since it settles into traps and pipes and is hard to remove. Save your rinse water in a container until all the solids settle out. Decant the water in your yard, and dump the leftover sludge into your garbage.


Don’t use the toilet for garbage.

Just because dental floss goes down the toilet doesn’t mean it made it to the main sewer. It could get caught on something in your pipes and form a clog. In addition, personal care products don’t decompose easily, which causes an issue at the water treatment facility as well.


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