Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems for Virginia Beach homeowners. If you don't have a clogged drain now, chances are you will in the near future.
Slow and clogged drains can be both annoying and frustrating. Our expert plumbers reveal the secrets to both preventing and clearing clogged drains.
Preventing a Clog
Clogged drains are not fun. Even a partial clog can be an irritating nuisance. We all want to avoid that hassle. These tips will help you 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.
- Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. 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
If you already have a clogged drain, clearing it can be quite challenging. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when clearing a clogged 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.
- Remove the drain trap. Get a bucket ready and try removing the drain trap under the sink. Many times, this is where the clog has become lodged. Caution: avoid this step if you have used a chemical drain cleaner.
- 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 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.