You probably don't think about your drains. That is until they stop working. It seems like your kitchen or bathroom sink went from free-flowing to suddenly stopped, all within mere moments. But that's probably not what really happened. Even though it is possible for something to quickly clog your drain (such as the pennies your preschooler is pouring down the bathroom sink), it's more likely that the clog has been building over time.
What can you do to prevent a total blockage of your drain? To start with, regular maintenance can help to stop problems before they begin. No one likes a clogged drain. Even though it's not typically a major issue, it's annoying enough to irritate you every time you turn on the water.
If you'd rather prevent a full-on clog than have to deal with the aftermath, take a look at the simple steps that can help you to maintain your drains.
Every time you wash your hair, some falls out. This doesn't mean that you're going bald or that clumps of hair are shedding from your head. Most people lose anywhere from 60 to 100 hairs per day. Of course, that's not all in the shower. But bathing is certainly a time when you shed a few strands.
While one shower won't clog your drain, day after day of washing your hair (and some of it washing down the drain) could cause problems. Add on extra hair from shaving and you can see how your bathroom drains can slowly start clogging.
Luckily, there's an easy fix for this. Many drains come with stoppers or some sort of barrier that keeps the hair out, but some don't. If you have a bathroom drain that lets the hair flow in freely through, invest in a hair catcher - an inexpensive add-on that fits over the drain.
These little devices are like spaghetti strainers. They let the water through, but keep the hair out. After your shower, you'll need to remove the hair catcher and wash it out. Keep in mind, you don't want to just move the hair from the tub to the sink. Don't toss it down the sink drain. Instead, throw it into the trash
Preventative Professional Maintenance
You've noticed that the drain is moving slowly. It isn't clogged. That is not yet. But it's moving at a snail's pace. Now is the time to get your drain cleaned. It's normal for drains to slow due to daily use and wear. Soap residues, oils from cooking and other debris can stick to the sides of the pipe, making it a challenge for water to flow through.
Instead of pouring a caustic chemical drain cleaner down your pipes, a pro can get the job done without risking your plumbing system. Drain cleaners are dangerous chemicals that come with safety risks for you and your pipes. The chemicals in drain cleaners can also eat away the surface of your sink or tub, causing damage to your bathroom or kitchen fixtures.
Avoid Clogging Substances
There are some substances that you have to put down the drain. There's nothing you can do about the soap and shampoo from your shower. But when it comes to sink drains, you have options. And these include whether you do or don't put some substances down the drain.
If you don't have a garbage disposal, never put food down the drain. Your pipes weren't made to push pieces of leftover food away. These need to go in the trash or in a composter. Likewise, grease from cooking (such as the grease that's left in the pan after cooking hamburgers) shouldn't go down the drain. Pour hot grease into a heat-safe container, let it cool and throw it out according to your local trash collection regulations.
Do you need a drain cleaning? Bedell Plumbing, Inc. can help.