As one of the most common plumbing problems affecting homeowners, clogged drains can be a nightmare. They prevent full usage of important home amenities, take time out of your busy schedule, and can affect some of the most important rooms in your home. Avoid these inconvenient situations by staying ahead of the problem and know how to quickly attend to them if they occur. No matter the clog, follow these tips to save yourself time and plumbing issues later on.
1. Use a hair catcher for the bathtub/shower drain(s)
One of the biggest culprits of clogged drains, hair can create difficult blockages in your plumbing system. These small, hair-catching mesh screens will prevent excess hair from going down your drains and creating nasty clogs. Before showering, also keep in mind the excess hair that could fall during your shower. Brush your hair before bathing to remove the majority of loose hair. Once your hair catcher has caught enough hair, wipe it out with a sponge or paper towel or dump the excess in the trash can.
2. Take advantage of Southern California weather and wash your pets outside
Fortunately, we live in an area of the country where spending time outdoors is pleasant year-round. Take advantage of this nice weather and bathe your furry friends in your backyard. This can help prevent those difficult bathtub drain clogs, and it will also help your pets dry off faster, saving you the hassle of cleaning up wet paw prints from the wood floors.
3. Be mindful to routinely clean your drains
One of the easiest ways to stay ahead of future plumbing problems is to routinely clean your drain stoppers. Lift the pop-up stoppers and remove any drain covers to clean out the accumulated debris. It can be difficult to remember this often-forgotten step when cleaning around the house, but removing this debris before the problem becomes any bigger will save you a major inconvenience later on.
4. Use a disposer brush to clean the garbage disposal
Tackle the kitchen drain and prevent difficult blockages from occurring. Many homeowners make the mistake of tossing cooking oils and grease down the garbage disposal, causing a buildup throughout these pipes. Avoid putting produce stickers, paper products, an excess of soap, paint, and cooking grease/oils down the drains in your home. Make sure to clean the drains out frequently with a disposer brush to clear up the clogs and keep the disposal running smoothly.
5. Try natural solutions before harsh chemicals
In the instance that your drains do become clogged, avoid using harsh chemicals until absolutely necessary. Several natural solutions can work just as well on stubborn clogs in your drains and prevent potential pipe damage. Try pouring boiling water down the drain first to clear any small clogs, and follow by running warm water down the drain for five minutes. If the clog still persists, pour one cup of bleach down the drain before bed, and run warm water down the drain when you wake up in the morning.
6. Flush all drains at same time
If you find that your drains are still clogged, it might be time to call on your family members and friends for assistance. This may require several extra bodies, depending on the amount of drains in your home. First, assign one person to each drain in your house. Then close all drains and fill the tubs/sinks with warm water. In synchronization, open each drain and flush all toilets at the same time. This will (hopefully) send a cascade of water throughout all drains that will help clear up excess hair and debris.
7. If the problem persists, use a plunger
If none if the previous efforts work, it might be time to try your bathroom plunger on those difficult drain clogs. Fill the tub or sink with warm water and plunge the drain several times to try to remove any blockages.
8. Hard water could be the problem
If you find that your drains clog easier than most, you may be dealing with hard water in your home. These minerals can build up over time and cause buildup in a home’s pipes. Utilize a water softener to prevent hard water from clogging your drains.
If these steps do not clear your home’s drains, it might be time to call a plumbing professional. An experienced plumber can send a plumber’s snake down the drain to break up clogs and obstructions in the drain, and pull out any debris or hair clogging the pipes. Call Platinum Plumbing for any tricky drainage blocks and we will be happy to help clear those clogged drains once and for all!