Home Maintenance Tips: Fixing and Preventing Clogged Drains

With years of use, the plumbing in your home, or rental home, can get gummed up and no longer drain the way it should. In times like these we ultimately want to find a way to fix the issue as quickly as possible in order to continue using whatever it is that wasn’t draining. Yes, it is very important that we get our toilet or bathtub back to working order, but it is equally important to make sure that we are using good practices when dealing with our drains and plumbing. That is why today we are going to show you our top home maintenance tricks and tips in fixing and prevent clogged drains.

Why are my drains clogging?
Stop and think to yourself for a second of all the nasty things that have been put down the drains in your home. Where do they go? If it is a sink, majority of them use what is known as a a trap. The job of the trap is to stop sewer gases from sneaking back up the pipes and finding their way in to your home. When items like hair and mud (or other things) go down the drain they can build up in the trap, which is much like the letter U. Debris mixes with soap leftovers for some time to form nasty build up and eventually this will stop the drains from flowing nicely.

Why does my kitchen sink clog?
Your kitchen sink is no exception to the concepts listed above, the things you put down it will greatly impact the way it acts over time. Even if you have a garbage disposal, you must limit what you put down your drains as foods, oils, and other substances will cause the drains to gum up. Also, grease from cooking should never be put down any drain for any reason.

Why does my tub drain clog?
When it comes to your tub drain, this is also a combination of soap and whatever you let sneak down that drain. Hair clumps, mud, oils, the list goes on an on. In fact, we let a lot more go down the drains than we realize.

How do I unclog my kitchen sink?
If you want to fix that pesky clog in your kitchen sink you’ll need to begin by pouring very hot water down the drain as this helps remove and prevent a lot of the buildup on the inside of the pipes. You should do this once a week. Another option is to to use vinegar by pouring it down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Afterward rinse with 2qts of very hot water.

How do I unclog my tub drain?
This is probably one of the more common issues, and it can sometimes be difficult to remedy depending on how long you’ve let the problem go. Most important is to realize what is clogging up the drain. Most likely it is hair and soap build up. This will need to be removed using something like a wire hanger, or if you have one, a plumbing snake. Once you’ve removed whatever was causing the clog, be sure to flush the drain with 2qts of very hot water.

How do I unclog my bathroom sink?
The sink in your bathroom most likely contains what is referred to as a p-trap, which has an area shaped like a U that can sometimes catch a lot of hair and debris. You will want to unscrew the two ends of the U portion of the trap and free it from position. Be careful as there will be nastiness and water in this area. Clean it nicely and put it back in place. Use a wire hanger or plumbing snake to get out any hair and build up that may be keeping the water from flowing. Once you have completed these steps you will want to pour 2qts of very hot water down the drain.

How do I get rid of nasty smell from drains?
If you have ever turned on your faucet just to be blasted in the face with a rotten sewage smell, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you that do not, trust that you never want to experience it. To avoid this horribly unwelcome intruder pour a half of a cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour 2qts of very hot water down with it. The baking soda will not only help clean the pipes and nastiness, but it will absorb some of that foul odor.

Preventing kitchen sink clogs
It may seem like an extra step but scraping and rinsing off your dishes, pots and pans, and silverware with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher will greatly reduce the amount of debris that can get in to the pipes. Be sure to use cold water when rinsing your dishes as this will stop grease and fats from melting and possibly coating the pipes more. The silver lining here is that it will be easier for your dishwasher to do its job and your pipes will thank you.

Preventing bathroom sink and tub drain clogs
The easiest way to prevent clogs in your bathroom is to put hair catchers over your drains. This will greatly reduce the amount of build up that will occur. Followed with a weekly pouring of 2qts of very hot water this should keep all build up at bay.

Preventing toilet clogs and buildup
If you have a toilet that is a bit older you may be required to hold the handle for a couple of seconds to ensure that all of the tank water has been released. If you don’t, you may prevent all the waste from flushing fully and this will lead to a clog. It is also very good practice to never put anything in your toilet that is not considered flushable.

The plumbing in your house can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Imagine life without a kitchen sink that drains. How many dishes will pile up and how gross will the area get? Image a toilet that won’t flush. Follow the steps we discussed above and you can be sure you are doing your part at helping your plumbing help you and prevent any unnecessary service calls.

If you have more questions about the plumbing in your home and how Buckeye Northwest Realty can help you, please contact us now.

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