Nobody wants clogged drains. However, from time to time almost all homeowners experience some kind of blockage which then causes a lingering smell, and all kinds of other problems.
Not to mention the fact it can be time-consuming and costly to fix.
So, the best way to deal with blocked drains is to make sure you don't get them in the first place!
1. Don’t Wait for a Mainline Blockage
A mainline blockage is a serious problem that can't be fixed through many of the tips listed below. It could be due to any number of issues, such as encroaching tree roots or a collapsed pipe.
Instead, hire in a plumber or professional drain cleaning service near me in Allentown, PA and get them to take a look now. Though it's not ideal, you can ensure the problem gets fixed now and you don't have to pay more by waiting till the problem gets even worse.
2. Install a Lint Catcher on Your Washing Machine Hose
Lint is all that fine fiber that comes off your clothes when you put them in the washing machine. Though it might seem small and innocent, it can cause some real problems for your drain if left unchecked.
By installing a lint catcher on your washing machine hose, you can catch it all before it enters your drains and becomes a nuisance.
3. Put Bacteria to Work
It's possible to buy bacteria powder or liquid to help clear away waste blockages in drains. It is usually very effective at clearing certain blockages, as the bacteria attacks the organic matter and breaks it down. It’s also great because it doesn't interfere with any bacteria stored in your septic tank and it won’t corrode any of your pipes.
4. Collect Grease? Don’t Dump It
Dumping grease down the drain is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to stop blockages.
It can easily get stuck on anything else in there and, when it cools, it quickly hardens and becomes stuck. It also then attracts other things to it and causes major blockages. Instead, keep a container free and then pour any unused grease into that. You can then dispose of the grease elsewhere by throwing away the container.
5. Don’t Rinse Cement, Grout or Joint Compound Down the Drain
It might not seem like a big deal to wash off a bit of excess grout or cement whenever you’re doing home DIY. Especially if you do so very infrequently.
However, once again it can easily build up and add to other items already clogging your drains. They simply aren't built for disposing of industrial waste, so find a different way to clean off your tools at day's end.
6. Catch Hair Before it Reaches the Drain
Surely you’ve seen how hair quickly builds up around the drain hole whenever you’re taking a shower?
Well, imagine what your drains look like if you keep rinsing it down after every wash.
The problem is made worse if there are a few people in your household with long hair. Instead, make sure you have mesh covers over drain holes to catch any hair. Then, dispose of it regularly by emptying it into the bin.
7. Pop-Up Stopper
Pop up stoppers are a great item to have fitted to every sink hole in your home. This includes the kitchen and any toilets and bathrooms. When you push them down, they fill the sink with water and when you pop them out, water can drain away.
However, if any food or other large items are in the water, the stopper will prevent them from draining away, and only let the water through. You can then collect and clear any larger waste with ease.
8. Collect Your Food Waste
Before you wash the dishes, it’s tempting to rinse off the dishes in the sink in order to get rid of any leftover food. Well, it's time to stop this bad habit once and for all.
Your drains can handle some small bits of food every now and then, but not 4 half-empty plates after every evening meal. Instead, scrape off as much as possible into a food bin and empty that elsewhere.
9. Flush Your Drains
Rather than going out and buying a whole load of expensive products, one of the most effective ways to clear a blockage is to flush the drains. A blockage might only be temporary and because a couple of items have become trapped against one another.
You can clear this in the same way a toilet works. Get a large bucket of water and pour it straight down the drain quite quickly.
The sheer force should do most of the work. You could up the ante by filling all your baths and sinks and flushing at once, to push even more water through.
10. Don’t Use the Toilet as a Wastebasket
There’s only one thing you should be putting down your toilet, and that’s toilet paper.
It's thin and easily breaks down, meaning your drains can handle it with relative ease. Other than this, anything else should go in a bin. This includes all female sanitary items and yes, even dental floss. It’s time to stop using your toilet as a wastebasket and only put the essentials in there. If your toilet is overflowing and you need to know how to unclog a toilet just give us a call.
11. Hotter Than Usual Water
It’s natural that, even by following these helpful tips, your drains will experience some minor degree of blockage. This is to be expected, and best of all, it can easily be managed. If you get into a habit of dumping hotter than usual water down the drains once a week, you can flush away 95% of any annoying items that do happen to get stuck there. Preventing any serious build up over time.
12. Use Cold Water Wisely
The reason you flush the drains out with hotter water is that it's far more effective at attacking rubbish and things like grease. In its cold state, both grease and oil become hardened and stick to the inside of the drains. As such, you should try not to run the cold tap down the drain any more than necessary. This will only help to harden any leftover oil or grease in the drain.
13. Take preventative measures with your garbage disposal
Blockages in the garbage disposal are fairly common, and for obvious reasons. So to stop these from occurring there are some very simple preventative measures you can take. First off, both before and after using it, you should flush it with cold water. Every now and then, feel free to throw some ice cubes down there as well to help clear any remaining sticky residue.
14. Vinegar gets our vote
If you need something a little more powerful to help remove minor blockages from your drains, then use vinegar. Don't worry, you don't need to head out and order 2 gallons of vinegar every week. It certainly won't smell good or do much for your wallet. However, feel free to pour a small amount down if you think things are clogging. Perhaps before and after you pour hotter than usual water down.
15. Don't use chemical drain cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners are, perhaps surprisingly, pretty useless at their job. In fact, they can often do more harm than good! You might find that they unclog the trapped water for a day or two, only for it to return. This is because it clears only a small hole, but cannot clear most of the waste. Some of the downsides of chemical a drain cleaner include its high price, the damage it can do to your health and its environmental impact.
If your drains are always getting blocked, then hopefully now you will have a good idea of what to do and what not to do to help prevent it in the future. If your drains are blocked at the moment and you’re looking to get it fixed, then you could benefit from our specialist drain cleaning service!