Plumbing is an essential element for both household and industrial functions. Because of this, it can be tempting to use a sink or drain as a catchall for all sorts of runoff. If done too often, however, drains can back up and stop running smoothly. There are a few common sources of drain clogging to keep in the back of your mind.
Hair is one of the biggest drain-clogging culprits. It tends to build up after washing hair in the shower. This problem is as easy to resolve as it is to create. There are a number of hair catching devices that sit on top of the drain. These little devices are made of plastic or metal. They have holes that are large enough for water to pass through and small enough to block hair.
Preparing meat, particularly frying, yields a lot of fat and grease. Animal fat is a thick substance that can block plumbing over time. Don’t pour it directly down the drain, even if you have a garbage disposal. Instead, get a bowl and cover the bottom with aluminum foil, followed by several layers of paper towels. Pour the fat into this trap and allow it to soak for several hours. The fat will solidify and become much easier to dispose of along with the regular garbage.
Solid soap in bar form, like animal fat, is greasy and doesn’t quickly dissolve to pass through pipes. Fortunately, a solution is at hand. All it takes is a few simple household items to remedy this issue. Start by pouring boiling water and grease-fighting dish soap down the drain. The soap will loosen the scum. Now, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of distilled white vinegar. The baking soda will react with the vinegar to fizz away the rest of the scum. Finish the process with two cups of boiling water. This will flush out the rest of the baking soda and vinegar solution.
Soap scum can combine with other debris like dirt and skin cells and buildup on the inside of your pipes over time. The same can happen with mineral deposits, especially if you live in an area with hard water. It may help to use a mild drain cleaner on a regular basis to clear some of these deposits. Be sure not to use anything too harsh that could damage the pipes themselves. You can even employ some of the methods mentioned above like baking soda and vinegar to help with this.
Children love to play with toys at bath time. Unfortunately, some of them can get caught in the drain. These tiny objects can end up creating large blockages. In this case, it’s best to call in the professionals. Plumbing services can remove the toy safely without damaging it. They will typically use a plunger or vacuum cleaner to do so. In the future, make sure your child only plays with larger toys in the bath that can’t fit down the drain.
Clogged drains make it hard to enjoy the most basic parts of everyday life. Start by diagnosing the cause. This will lead you to an often simple solution to prevent these issues in the future.