5 Tips to Prevent Clogged Drains

A clogged drain can be a hassle, but it’s a pretty common occurrence. Do you have a tried and true method for unclogging your drain? Maybe you keep a drain plunger on hand, or a small plumbing snake, or maybe you prefer the baking soda and vinegar method of blasting a drain clog free. A better option for your plumbing, though, would be to prevent the drains from clogging in the first place. Do you know how to do that?

  1. Be cautious about what you put down the drain. You may think you’re fine pouring a little bit of grease down the sink, especially if you don’t immediately notice any ill-effects. However, grease can settle in your drains, causing clogs to form slowly, over time, and slowing down all the drains in your house. It’s not just straight grease you need to worry about, either; greasy sauces and foods can also cause a problem. Even if you have a garbage disposal, it’s not safe to put fatty foods and sauces, including butter, salad dressing, and cream sauce, into your pipes.
  2. Keep hair out of your pipes. Hair is a big problem for your pipes because it can form clogs that are difficult to dislodge if it’s allowed to go down the drain. To prevent this from happening, brush your hair before you shower or bathe. Use a drain strainer or hair catcher to keep the hair from going down the drain. Trying to grab it by hand is not enough, because you’ll miss more than you catch.
  3. Mind the soap scum. Of course, there’s no way to keep soap out of your drains, but it can cause sticky, slimy scum that adheres to the sides of your pipes and causes clogs. Liquid soap causes less soap scum than bar soap, and soft water is less likely to allow soap scum to form than hard water.
  4. Clean the drains. About once a week, pull out the drain stopper from your sink and tub or shower and clear any debris that may be hanging around the drain. If necessary, use a bent wire or a brush to clear out hair and whatever else may be lurking in your drain. Flush your drains with hot water weekly as well. It’s also smart to know how to clean your P-trap. This is the sink trap under your sink shaped like a U, and it can be unfastened to check for clogs. Once a month, use a bacterial drain cleaner to keep your drains in good condition. Another proactive measure you can take is to have a plumber clean your drains and sewer lines every 18 months or so. The plumber can use hydro jetting to remove build up from within your pipes and sewer lines, and this powerful jetting can even remove tree roots that are starting to grow into your sewer lines.
  5. Be proactive about tree roots. Tree roots can easily grow into your pipes and cause a clogged sewer line. The best way to keep this from happening is to use copper sulfate crystals. Just flush about ½ cup of this safe herbicide down the toilet every couple of months. It will kill any roots that are starting to grow into the sewer line, but it won’t damage your trees or other plants. It’s best to do this before your drains start to slow, because young, small, roots are most easily managed with copper sulfate.

If you’ve got a drain clog that you can’t seem to manage, call Hoover Electric. Hoover Electric, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling has been serving customers in Southeast Michigan since 1980, offering courteous, professional service. We offer all the services you need for residential maintenance under one roof, so we can offer extremely competitive pricing while maintaining great customer service and guaranteed satisfaction. When you’re looking for top-quality electrical, plumbing, heating, or cooling services in Clinton Township, contact Hoover through our website or call 586-232-9204 today.

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