How to prevent and clear a clogged drain, Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
March 22, 2012

The most common plumbing problem is the clogged drain. The only thing better than a sure-fire remedy for a clogged drain is not having to deal with the clog in the first place. To that end, here are several tips to keep the drains in your home clear of clogs as well as a few remedies if you do find yourself with one.

Preventing a Clog
Whether your drain is completely plugged or just has a partial blockage that is slowing the drain, clogs are frustrating. We all want to avoid the problem, so here are a few tips to do just that.

  • Do not pour grease or oil down the drain. Grease and oil will solidify in your pipes and lead to a clogged sink. Instead, pour the grease into a sealed container and throw it in the garbage.
  • Keep a strainer on shower and bath drains. Hair is a common culprit of clogged shower and bath drains. Make sure your drain has a screen or strainer to keep hair and other larger items out of your drain. Clean the strainer regularly.
  • Never pour anything that solidifies down the drain. This includes paint, glue and wax. These items can solidify and collect in your drain and cause a whole or partial blockage.
  • Don't use your toilet as a waste basket. Flushing tissues, sanitary products, cotton balls and diapers down your toilet is asking for a problem. These products are not made to properly dissolve in water and will cause a clog in your toilet.
  • Run cold water with the disposal. When using your kitchen sink disposal, run cold water at least fifteen seconds after you turn the disposal off to clear the pipes of any remaining food items. Also avoid running stringy or fibrous foods like banana peels, carrots and celery through the disposal, as they are likely to get tangled and cause a clog.

Clearing a Clog
Despite following all of our tips, you may still experience a clog in your drain. It can be especially frustrating if you are unsure of the solution. Here are a few things to keep in mind when clearing a drain.

  • Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners. The acids in chemical drain cleaners are not only toxic for you and the earth, but can also damage your metal or PVC pipes. It is much better to use another method.
  • Use the plunger correctly. Many small clogs can be loosened using a plunger. Make sure you are using the correct type of plunger for the application. Sink plungers and toilet plungers are different. When using a plunger on a bathroom sink, fill the sink with a little water and place a rag in the overflow hole to give the plunger a better seal.
  • Don't panic. If you cannot unplug the drain yourself, contact a professional. A clogged drain does not mean that you will have to have your backyard or home torn up to find the clog. Professional plumbers can usually find and fix a clog with very unobtrusive methods.

Chances are, you are going to be faced with a drain problem at some point. However, using these preventative and drain clearing tips, a clog should be less stressful.

If you want more information or need help clearing a clogged drain, contact Pippin Brothers Plumbing today.