Upgrading Your Pipes

3 Tips For Minimizing Common Clogs

With many activities in your home that rely on fully functioning drains, it is almost inevitable that a clog will occur. Although clogs may be unavoidable, there are ways you can minimize problems in your pipes.

Be Mindful When Washing Your Hair

No matter how careful you are when washing your hair, some hair will end up down the drain. To minimize the amount of hair going down the drain, make sure the sink or bathtub is fitted with a strainer. Find options that sit inside the drain, especially for the bathtub, because they are less likely to move around as the water hits the strainer or if you accidently kick it while washing your hair. Use strainers with the smallest holes you can find, which will trap more hair.

Another way to reduce the amount of hair going down the drain is to comb through your hair before washing. Try saturating your hair with conditioner and using a wide-tooth comb to remove as many shed hairs as possible. Once you are in the shower and begin washing your hair, use your fingers to comb through your hair to capture additional hairs in your hand.

Additionally, limit your use of hair products containing oils. Many people choose to condition their scalp and/or hair with oil or hair grease to alleviate dryness or seal moisture into their hair. A small amount of oil goes a long way and minimizes the amount of oil that goes into your drains on the next wash day.

Err On The Side Of Caution With Food Waste

Hopefully you remember to throw food waste, oils, and grease into the trash to prevent clogs. Never rely on garbage disposals to macerate food waste in hopes that it will just pass through the drain. Use your garbage disposal for solid particles that are impossible to catch or ones that slip past the strainer in your sink. Even liquid foods can cause problems in the drain. For example, residual beaten eggs may seem fine going down the drain, but may solidify in hot water. It is always best to wipe the bowl with a paper towel to minimize the amount of potentially harmful food waste that goes into the drain system.

Even when your drains are running fine, use preventative maintenance to keep them flowing. For example, a mixture of baking soda and table salt poured down the drain and followed by boiling water can be used to clean drains before they cause problems. Additionally, using a small amount of dish detergent in your kitchen drain and turning on the hot water can also help. Choose a dish detergent that is designed to break up grease residue, even if it is not the same one you use for your dishes.

Reconsider Flushable Items

More public buildings and waste management facilities want people to avoid flushing items down the toilet that are considered flushable. You may want to reconsider the items you use in your home and decide to reduce or stop flushing these items. For example, many women use tampons for their feminine hygiene needs and flush the used tampon while throwing away the applicator. The abundance of used tampons in treatment facilities may be causing a problem or can cause clogs in some toilets.

These items and other flushable personal care items, such as wipes, do not readily dissolve in the water and may not biodegrade any time soon. If you feel comfortable doing so, you should place used tampons into a trash can. You might also decide to reduce the amount of tampons you flush. If they are not heavily saturated or are a larger absorbency, you might choose to dispose of them in the trash. For flushable wipes, use them sparingly. Another option is to dampen toilet paper for extra cleanliness. If you have a cat in your home, it is best to avoid using litter that is supposedly flushable. When cleaning the litterbox, continue to dispose of litterbox waste in the trash.

Clogs are not only an inconvenience, but in some cases, they can cause significant problems throughout your home. Simple changes to your daily activities can minimize the chances of clogging up your toilet and sinks. Contact a plumber at a company like Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. for additional advice.