A Plumber’s Advice: How Can You Prevent Clogged Drains?

What Things Should Not Be Flushed Down Drains?

Our plumbers in Anaheim see it all the time: every once in a while, we all contend with a clogged drain. Clogged drains may be significant indicators of something seriously wrong with your drains and sewer pipes, or they may simply be temporary blockages caused by easily removed obstructions. Whatever the case may be, there are preventive steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that you will have to deal with clogs.

Washing dishes

  • Avoid Grease and Oil – Do not let these go down drains or into your garbage disposal. As you know, grease congeals as it cools and oil does not break down quickly. Lard, meat fats, shortening, cooking oil, butter, margarine, sauces and dairy products are all potentially clog-causing agents. They also produce bad odors as spoilage sets in.
  • Scrape dishes before rinsing – This applies to both rinsing in the sink or the dishwasher. Food blocks Costa Mesa drains and pipes.
  • Hair – This is one type of clog with which we’re all familiar. Ideally, the only thing you want going down the lavatory or tub/shower drain is soap and shaving cream – and, well, water of course – even razor stubble will accumulate. Wipe your sink and tub out, clearing as much of any hair that remains. In the sink, hair that is rinsed down the drain will collect around the pop-up stopper that is used to plug and fill the sink. Occasionally pulling the pop-up stopper out of the drain hole and cleaning it will keep hair clogs away. Similarly, in the shower or tub hair will gather at the drain grate. It should also be pulled and cleaned.
  • Jewelry – It’s always a great idea to remove any rings you may wear before washing your hands, or especially when you are cleaning. While most rings and jewelry can be retrieved, they can cause clogs if they aren’t removed.
  • Regular maintenance – Maintenance is also a wise idea to keep your drains free from debris and in proper repair. Occasionally let hot water run through your drains and pipes. Both the constant water pressure and heat help free your pipes from drains. It’s also a good method for keeping those foul odors away. To break down grease deposits, odors and hard water deposits, pour a handful of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) down the drain and chase it with hot water. Do it weekly. There are other, stronger mixtures as well. Baking soda and salt, a cup each, and ¼ cup of cream of tartar is an excellent natural drain and pipe cleaner. Use a quarter cup of the solution. You can also pour some lemon juice in your drain and let it stand for about 30 minutes to help clear your drain and deodorize it.
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