Drain Clog Prevention and CleaningKnowing how to avoid clogged drains will aid in the maintenance of your plumbing system. Learning how to unclog a drain will also save you money on a professional visit.

Clogged drains are common plumbing issues, especially during the summer. Hair down the drain is frequently the cause, but it is not the only one. Knowing how to avoid clogged drains will aid in the maintenance of your plumbing system. Learning how to unclog a drain will save you money on a professional visit.

How To Prevent Clogging Your Drains

The best technique to keep drains clear is to put as little as possible down them.

  • Food, coffee grinds, and grease should not be poured down the sink.
  • Not the garbage disposal, but the trash or compost heap for leftover food.
  • Fill a sealable container halfway with liquid grease. Place it in the garbage or take it to a recycling facility once it has cooled.
  • Keep hair and soap scum out of the drains in the bathroom. Use a mesh screen or a perforated shower drain hair catcher to cover your tub and shower drain. Either way, the hair will be collected, and the water will flow through.
  • A hair catcher for the shower drain can be composed of stainless steel, silicone, or a mix of the two. Another option is to replace the shower or tub stopper with one that has a built-in screen to prevent hair from clogging the drain.
  • Brush your hair before showering or bathing.
  • This method eliminates stray hair from the shower drain and prevents it from clogging it. Place a washcloth over the drain if you must bathe your dog in the tub or shower. The amount of hair loss by a dog during a bath can jam a standard shower drain hair catcher.
  • Be careful what you flush. Toilets are built to accommodate both human waste and toilet paper. Clogs can be caused by flushing dense, stringy, or bulky items.
  • Dental floss, feminine hygiene products, and other household waste should go in the trash instead.

What To Try Before Calling A Plumber

Examine the drain plug. Remove the drain stopper, clean it, and reassemble it if you find hair or other debris.

Plunge using the plunger. Plunge the plunger bell into the drain to seal the edges, then push in and out to force water up and down the pipes. Before using the plunger, run at least two inches of water down the drain.

If a drain remains clogged after using a plunger, a plumbing snake will be required (also called auger). Push the snake down the drain, twisting it around corners. The corkscrew point grips hair and other obstructions, allowing you to pull them out.

Learn about your P-trap. The U-shaped drainpipe beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks that you may open to inspect for obstructions or insert a plumbing snake into. To gather water and debris, place a bucket beneath the trap. Because the P-trap beneath your tub is difficult to reach, try plunging or snaking through the tub drain first. Remove the overflow plate and stopper from your tub drain if your bathtub is clogged. To establish a good seal, use a damp sponge and plastic to cover the overflow plate. The tub drain should then be plunged. Insert the snake through the overflow plate and work it down past the P-trap if plunging does not clear the clogged drain. The tub P-trap should be removed as a last resort.

Try a simple gadget from your closet to unclog your shower. Remove the drain stopper and grab a hair blockage with a straightened wire coat hanger with a bent tip. Remove the clog with a plunger or raise it closer to the surface so you can reach it. If diving fails, turn to the snake. You might also use a natural method to clean the shower drain of hair and other organic waste. Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain. After a few minutes of bubbling and foaming, dump a kettle of hot (not boiling) water down the drain. Allow the mixture to settle for a few hours. If your drain still isn’t clear, repeat the process.

Keeping Your Drains Clean

Once a week, clean your drains. Remove the pop-up stopper from your bathroom sink, clean the drain, and rinse the stopper before reinstalling it. Remove the drain stopper from your shower or tub drain and clean it with a bent wire or a hair-catching brush.

Weekly drain cleaning is recommended. After filling your tub with hot water, drain it. At the end of each shower, pour hot water down the drain.

Once a month, give your tub drain a thorough cleaning. To reach the spring or rocker arm, remove the overflow plate and raise the pop-up assembly. Before replacing the pop-up assembly, remove any hair or other debris and thoroughly rinse it.

Once a month, clear your drains with a bacterial drain cleaner. Unlike chemical drain cleaners, they won’t harm your pipes. The easiest way to keep drains free is to prevent blockages in the sink, tub, and shower before they happen.

If you run into a clog you can’t get rid of, don’t worry Top Tier Plumbing and Rooter is here to help you with the dirty work. Call us at (951) 475-6521. We will be happy to come to the rescue.