Avoiding clogged pipes is imperative to keeping everyone in your home safe and healthy. When pipes become blocked, contaminated water can begin to flood parts of your home, like the basement and pipes can become damaged. It turns out that some of the most common objects that go down the drain may be responsible for these blockages. Learn 5 of the common culprits of clogged drains and how to avoid them. However, if a drain is currently clogged it may be best to call in a professional plumber to protect your pipes and home.
Part of your morning routine, washing your hair, may be the cause of clogged shower drains. When hair becomes wet it is able to attach itself to almost anything, including pipes. This can cause a large backup as more and more builds up over time and possibly sticks to other clog-causing items, like residue from soap bars. An easy step to prevent clogs caused by hair is to place a screen or special filter on top of the shower drain. This precaution will let water through while trapping hair before it enters the drain.
Culprit: Paper Products
When it comes to your toilet, some people think it is fine to throw products like napkins, paper towels, and hand wipes into their toilets and flush them away. The problem with this is that the pipes on most toilets are not equipped for these items which can lead to clogged toilets over time. The solution to this is to simply stop trying to flush these heavier paper products down the drain. A good rule of thumb to follow for toilets is that the only paper that should go in it is toilet paper.
This culprit is a primary issue in kitchen sinks. Scraping food down the drain can lead to clogs in the future. Sinks have special traps, called P or J traps that catch these larger items. Unfortunately, these traps can become full. This issue is usually not too big of a fix: take out the trap and clean it. Along with clogged pipes, food clogs can lead to bad smells coming from your drain. Prevent clogs caused by food by trying to avoid scraping large pieces of food into the drain, and install a garbage disposal to break these pieces up.
Culprit: Small Objects
This can be an especially large concern in homes with children, as they grow more curious, or for people that wear rings on a regular basis, in any part of the house. Similar to food, these objects are caught in the sink’s trap and can cause other culprits to build up over time. If something such as a ring or other item goes down the drain, just remove the trap and take the item out. To prevent this issue in the long-term, homeowners can place screens over the drains, just like in the shower, to prevent hair from building up.
This can be a big issue in kitchen sinks because grease, like hair, will stick to anything and allow the buildup of other culprits. Grease can act as a magnet for those small objects and food items that can go down the drain, and lead to some particularly nasty and deep clogs that can be hard to get to on your own. Prevent grease from causing problems by draining it into a disposable container and throwing it out, instead of down the drain.