preventing clearing drain clogs

Preventing and Clearing Drain Clogs, Part 1

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, some of the most common calls our plumbers receive for homes and other buildings alike are for drain cleaning needs. Various items may cause buildups and blockages in important drains, casing them to back up and often fail completely to perform their basic tasks.

Our plumbers are here to provide you with everything from basic drain inspection to various repairs, including those needed on an emergency basis. We’re also available to provide basic expertise – drain maintenance is something that you as a home or building owner can play a big role in, to the point where the right approach often prevents our professional services from ever being needed in this area. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over some of the common materials or substances that cause drain issues and should be avoided, some issues with the popular cleaning products you might typically use here, and some solutions we can suggest.

Materials That Cause Drain Issues

Have you ever been told by a plumber or anyone else that only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet, only to forget or simply disregard this advice soon after? Many have, assuming it’s one of those old wives’ tales that doesn’t actually have much of an impact when you really get down to it.

Unfortunately, those in this camp have been making a big error. There’s a reason this kind of advice is given – toilets and other drains are only meant for certain substances, and issues will assuredly arise if you regularly put other things into them. Some of the primary items you want to avoid throughout all your home drains include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Various forms of grease, fat or oil, often resulting from cooking (these should be disposed of using jars and trash bins instead of the garbage disposal or other drains)
  • Bones or eggshells
  • Stringy, fibrous or otherwise sticky foods
  • Starchy food options like rice, pasta and potatoes, which may stick to drains
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tissues or paper towels (even down the toilet)
  • Feminine products and flushable wipes
  • Hair, whether from humans or pets (consider stoppers in showers and tubs to prevent large clumps from going down drains)

Problems With Popular Drain Clearing Products

What’s the first thing you often think of when a small drain clog appears? That’s right, chemicals you’ll find at your local grocery store, such as Drain-O or others. And while these may indeed get the job done and clear your clog, these products also pose significant threats to your pipes when used regularly. Not only this, but they may also be bad for your skin. And finally, they aren’t particularly useful against certain tougher clog types. For all these reasons, we recommend avoiding these harsh chemicals in most cases – and we’ll offer you some alternatives in part two of this blog.

For more on avoiding and clearing drain clogs, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the pros at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.