Why Does My Drain Get Clogged?

17/09/16 2:27 PM

The very, very simple answer to, “Why does my drain get clogged,” is—because you use it.

The reality is, you can avoid a lot of plumbing problems and expensive plumbing bills by being very careful about what you put down your drain but you can’t entirely eliminate clogs from your life.

Don’t Throw That in the Sink

There are a lot of things that don’t belong in the plumbing system but usually end up there, such as food or human hair. With the days of summer dwindling, you’re probably enjoying some native veggies, like corn on the cob. The disposal system in your sink will not do much to chew up corn husks and silk, meaning that these pieces will likely get stuck in the pipes and act as a net to catch more food or soap residue. After that, it’s only a matter of time before the net fills to a solid mass and water won’t move past it. Hello, sink clog!

Make sure your family has a plan for food waste that doesn’t involve your kitchen sink. Many communities are starting compost programs and picking up kitchen scraps with the recycling. If you have your own back yard, consider your own compost pile and the benefits of rich, dark soil that will result, perfect for gardening. Teach all family members to avoid putting food down the drain and you’ll reduce your instances of clogs significantly.

Clean Up After You Use Soap

Soaps and shampoos can leave oil residue and, over time, that film can build up. Throw in some hair and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a clogged sink.

There are two ways to make sure you avoid standing in several inches of soapy water while you shower. First, grab the hair from the drain on a regular basis. A crochet hook is a good way to snag this stuff and just toss it away.

Second, use a non-toxic drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean, which will not harm your pipes. There are plenty of cleaners on the market that will get the job done in an old home with iron pipes but those same cleaners will literally melt PVC pipes commonly used in modern homes or renovated antique homes. If you think a clog is a pain in the neck or an expensive plumbing problem, you really don’t want to deal with a hole in the pipes, leaking sewer water and gases into your home. A skilled plumber might need hours just to find the source of the leak.

Bottom line, you can help keep drains clear by keeping the big stuff from falling into the drain and by regularly cleaning the drains. Good habits and maintenance will mean a free flowing sink drain for a long, long time.

Classic Plumbing by Reno is just a phone call away 860-748-7305 to help answer questions or, if a serious clog forms, get you back up and running in no time.

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