Home improvement

‘How Did My Drain Get Clogged?’

Few things are annoying for homeowners as a clogged drain. The severity can range from an easily fixed DIY project to the need for calling in a professional. The best course to follow is prevention. The type of clog you get often determines how hard a time you will have fixing it. Here are some of the most common materials requiring drain cleaning and some tips on how to prevent them from stopping up your pipes.

Minerals – If your water supply contains a large amount of minerals, you may start noticing your drains flowing slowly over time. Install a water softener early to prevent a difficult drain-cleaning job later. If mineral deposits stop up your drains, you will likely need the help of a professional plumber to get them flowing again.

Dirt – You can cause yourself some drainage issues by trying to rinse too much dirt down the drain. Get excess dirt off clothes by shaking them out before putting them in the washing machine. Also, try not to use the sink to wash items that are extremely dirty or caked with mud. Use the garden hose on these types of projects to get the majority of dirt off before finishing them in the sink.

Hair – Wet human hair has a knack for twisting and balling up in such a way to create drain-cleaning nightmares. Combine hair with a substance like grease and you could have a major repair on your hands. A simple prevention method is to outfit all of your drains with hair strainer devices to catch the hair before it gets into the pipes.

Toilet Paper – Contrary to what many people seem to think, toilets cannot accommodate an unlimited amount of toilet paper. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of the importance of limiting the amount of toilet paper they flush to an absolute minimum.

Food – Instead of making life easier, garbage disposals can increase your chances for some big drain cleaning jobs. Food belongs in the trash or, better yet, in the compost pile. One place it definitely does not belong is down the drain. Cooking grease is one of the worse culprits for clogging drains.

Objects – Anyone with small children have probably experienced a drain clog caused by items flushed down the toilet or drain. Sorry, no easy fixes for this problem, just be careful about placing small items along the side of the sink.

Roots – Trees growing near drain lines can send out taproots in search of water and destroy pipes. When this happens, your drainage system will probably require major repairs.

A little common sense goes a long way toward preventing excessive drain-cleaning jobs. However, even the most careful homeowner will typically require the help of a professional at some point. 

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Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.