10 Tips for Preventing Plumbing Clogs
Plumbing clogs are the bane of many a homeowner’s existence. They can be incredibly frustrating and very expensive to fix, which is why it’s so important to take preventative measures to keep your plumbing from clogging in the first place.
Keeping your drains free of clogs will save you money and avert plumbing disasters. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes of clogs and consider tips for preventing them.
Common Causes of Clogs
There are various issues that can create clogs in your plumbing system. They include all the following:
- Hair and soap buildup
- Grease and oil buildup
- Food scraps
- Foreign objects
- Dirt, kitty litter, or other debris
The best way to prevent clogs is by taking care of your plumbing. Follow these 10 tips for avoiding obstructed flow.
1. Use a Strainer in Your Sink
Use strainers in sinks and bathtubs to catch hair and food particles before they go down the drain. You can find inexpensive mesh strainers at most hardware stores and home centers.
2. Collect Grease and Oil in Containers
Pour the grease into an old coffee can, glass jar, or another disposable container with a lid, and throw it away in your regular trash. For oily pans, wipe them with a paper towel and discard the towel in the trash.
3. Run Hot Water to Flush Drains
When you’re finished taking a bath or doing dishes, run hot water down the drain for about 30 seconds to help clear out any remaining soap residue that might have been left behind. This will prevent soap scum from building up in the pipes and causing clogs.
4. Never Flush Feminine Products Down Toilets
One of the most common causes of clogged toilets is feminine products. It’s tempting to flush them down the toilet, but they can get stuck in the pipes and cause a severe blockage. Instead, throw them in the trash or place them in a covered waste bin to be picked up with the garbage.
5. Be Careful About What You Put Into Garbage Disposal
Don’t put coffee grounds, eggshells, potato peels, or similar food scraps into your garbage disposal. These items may be hard for your equipment to grind up properly, leading to a clog that requires professional help to fix.
6. Don’t Flush Cat Litter
While it may seem logical to flush your pet’s waste, this is not a good practice. Clumping cat litter is made from bentonite clay, which is a natural absorbent. When you flush it down your toilet, it will clump up and form solid balls in the pipes, causing a blockage that can be very difficult to remove.
7. Bathe Pets Outdoors
Keeping hair out of drains is a sensible precaution. Like human hair, pet hair can clog them as well. If you have a large dog, it’s best to bathe your pet outside so that the fur doesn’t end up in your bathtub or shower drain and create problems.
8. Don’t Clean Paint Brushes in the Sink
To remove paint from brushes before cleaning, wipe the brush on the side of the paint can, a paper towel, or on a piece of newspaper. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water to clean the brushes. Discard the used water.
9. Flush Human Waste and Toilet Paper Only
Don’t flush anything other than human waste or toilet paper down the toilet. This includes paper towels, baby wipes, disposable diapers, cotton balls and pads, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, and condoms. Discard these items in the trash bin instead.
10. Schedule Annual Maintenance Visits
The best way to prevent clogs in your plumbing system is to arrange for regular maintenance checks. You should schedule annual inspections by a professional plumber so that any problems can be discovered before they become serious issues that require extensive repairs.
The plumber will perform a visual inspection of the pipes and fixtures, check to see if there are any leaks or damage, and examine your toilets for proper operation. They’ll also check your sinks and tubs to ensure that the water is flowing freely. If one part of your plumbing system isn’t working properly, it can cause problems with the rest of your pipes and fixtures.
If your toilet clogs or you need drain cleaning, contact our experts at Next Level Plumbing in Sarasota. We have been in business for more than 10 years and are proud to offer our clients a complete line of the highest quality plumbing services at an affordable price. Call us today to receive more information or to schedule an appointment.