How to Prevent Drain Clogs and Back Ups

Having your drains clog or get backed up is no fun, especially if it means you have to call a professional plumber and have the entire line dug up and fixed. That can be very expensive, especially since some homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover it. Here are a few different things you can do to help prevent your drains from clogging and backing up.

Remember the Sink is Not a Disposal

If you don’t have a garbage disposal, be careful about putting leftovers down your sink. In most cases, they’re too large to fit down the sink drain anyway, but that’s not always true. Scrape off any large leftovers into the trash before rinsing the plate off in the sink.

Also, do not pour grease down the drain! While hot grease may be liquid, remember that when it cools, it hardens. It can easily stick to the pipes as it hardens up, creating either very narrow spaces for water to flow through or blocking the pipe completely. Instead of pouring it down the sink, pour it into a jar with a sealable lid and throw it in the trash.

If you have poured grease or other liquids that may harden, you can dump some boiling water into your sink on a regular basis. This will help re-melt it and flush it out.

Don’t Use a lot of Toilet Paper

It’s easy to clog up your toilet with a lot of toilet paper, so be judicious in the amount that you use. If you get a backed up toilet that ends up flooding your bathroom, you may need some sewage cleanup services, especially if the backup causes issues throughout your plumbing system. Also, do not flush things like wet wipes and other heavy products, including paper towels.

Use a Drain Guard in the Shower and in Sinks

Drain guards are very cheap little metal objects that sit in the drain and catch things before they go down the drain. Drain guards can be removed and thrown away when they get too nasty to reuse. It’s especially important to have a drain guard or a hair trap in the shower if you have long or thick hair.

Hair is one of the biggest causes of drain clogs, so you want to prevent as much of it from going down your shower or bathtub drain as possible. Be sure to clean these drain guards out regularly so they don’t get clogged and stop working.

Do Not Dump Paint or Other Materials Down the Drain

Paint and other chemicals should never be put down the drain. Besides clogging the drain, some chemicals can damage your pipes and lead to leaks. Always dispose of these liquids in a safe manner, not by dumping them down the sink or the toilet.

On a similar note, try not to rely on drain-clogging chemicals, either. Some of them do contain chemicals that can, after repeated use, actually damage your pipes and drainage system. If you need to use these products on a regular basis, you may have a serious clog that needs professional attention.

What questions do you have about the prevention of drain clogs and back ups? Comment below to get them answered!

Written by Elise
on July 16, 2015