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There are a lot of difficult things about being a homeowner, but keeping up with maintenance is one of the toughest parts. This is especially true when it comes to your plumbing system since so much of it is hidden in the walls and crawlspace. When it comes to clogged drains, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way toward preventing expensive plumbing problems. If you want to avoid spending a fortune having a plumber unclog a drain or replace a section of pipe, here’s how you can prevent clogged drains in your San Antonio, TX, home.
The Kitchen Sink
One of the biggest problem spots in the average home when it comes to clogged drains is the kitchen sink. Because people tend to deal with so much food waste in the kitchen, kitchen sinks take a real beating compared to other drains. Even if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you need to be careful about what you’re putting down there.
You should always try to minimize the amount of food waste you put down your drain. The more food you tend to put down the disposal instead of in the trash can, the more often you’ll have to call a plumber. There are some food items you need to be especially cautious about putting down your drain, including egg shells, coffee grounds and grease. These foods tend to create clogs quicker than others, so keeping them out of your kitchen sink is highly recommended.
While most people don’t need to hire a professional to unclog their toilet, it’s definitely one of the most common spots for clogs to occur. The fact of the matter is, people aren’t very careful about what they flush down the toilet. If you’re putting anything other than toilet paper in your toilet, you’re significantly increasing the likelihood of a clog.
A lot of people like using “flushable” wet wipes because of the extra-clean feeling they provide. As nice as that is, those wipes aren’t really flushable like the manufacturers claim they are. Since these wipes don’t break down in the drains the same way toilet paper does, they eventually build up and cause nasty clogs that are tough to remove.
Bathroom Sinks & Showers
Bathroom sinks and showers are also a common spot for drain clogs to occur, although they’re a little trickier to deal with. Most people use bathroom sinks to shave, wash their hands and brush their teeth. In the shower, they use soap and other hygiene products. Unfortunately, all these products are what eventually cause clogged drains.
The best way to avoid frequent calls to a plumber to unclog your bathroom sink or shower is to use a drain catch that keeps soap scum and hair from going down the drain. These devices are simple to install and can be removed and emptied in seconds.
If you can find a way to shave without getting hair in the sink, that’s also a huge help when it comes to preventing clogs. Most of the bathroom clogs plumbers deal with are ultimately a result of hair, so that’s the most important thing to prevent.
A Note About Drain Cleaners
When you have a clogged drain that doesn’t necessitate a call to a plumber, chances are you simply reach for a bottle of Drano to get the clog out. While Drano and similar drain cleaners do a fairly decent job of removing clogs, the harsh chemicals in these drain cleaners can eat away at pipes and cause more serious problems down the road.
If you ask a plumber about unclogging a slow drain with drain cleaner, most of them will recommend an enzyme-based option. Instead of using harsh chemicals that can eat away at the pipes in your home, enzyme-based cleaners are designed to eat away at the buildup that’s causing the clog. Since these cleaners aren’t dangerous to use in pipes, you can use them on a somewhat-frequent basis to keep clogs from building up in your drains. If you’re not sure which drain cleaners are enzyme-based or which product is best for your needs, ask a plumber for help choosing a drain cleaner.
Snaking a Drain
When you have a particularly bad clog in your San Antonio, TX, home, even the best drain cleaners won’t get the job done. The longer you ignore a clog and let it build up, the stronger and larger that clog becomes. At a certain point, the only way to get a clog out of your drain is to remove it with physical force.
Snaking is a great way to remove clogs from drains, but it also comes with certain risks. If you try to snake your own drain, you could damage an important fitting or piece of pipe and cause a leak. One of the most important parts of snaking a pipe is understanding the shape and structure of that pipe so you aren’t forcing anything. This is why it’s critical that you always hire a plumber when you need your pipes snaked. Even if you have a snake and think you can handle the job on your own, you’re potentially risking thousands of dollars by trying to snake your own drain.
Help from the Pros
Keeping your drains from getting clogged is an important job, especially if you have a large family or live in a particularly old home. With a little bit of preventive maintenance and proper drain usage, you can avoid clogging your drains and save hundreds on expensive plumbing repair and maintenance calls.
Lucky for you, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is here to help when it comes to keeping your drains clear. Our plumbers can clear clogged drains caused by anything, plus they can give you tips on how to prevent clogs in the future. Next time you have a clogged drain that’s causing problems in your home, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain at (210) 361-3418.