Be Careful! The Clogged Drains Culprits are Back

how to avoid clogged drains
(Last Updated On: December 23, 2016)

The SolvIt family wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday! We wish everyone a fun, relaxing and refreshing holiday weekend. The last few weeks of the year typically help us recharge our batteries and start the New Year with a fresh start. As we gather around tables to enjoy our friends and family with some food and fun, we should recall the culprits that cause clogged drains.

 

Homeowners that are the holiday hosts for friends and family should be mindful of potential warning signs. Any small drainage issues could balloon into larger problems with extra guests around the house. If there are any issues, then don’t forget to contact your trusted plumber because you should spend the holidays with family, not drains.

Fortunately, there are a few steps to understand drains. Knowledge is power, so if you know the potential causes for a clogged drain and a few do-it-yourself simple ways to fix, then you have the steps to keep any drainage issues at bay.

Step 1: Understand the Root Causes to Avoid Clogged Drains

Homeowners should take the time to understand the root causes behind clogged drains. Why?

Preventative measures work to prevent costly issues down the road. The first step is knowing what food and waste clog drains. Avoid putting the following items down the down:

  • cooking oil and/or fat.
  • poultry skins such as chicken and turkey.
  • starchy items like potato peels and rice.
  • stringy waste like celery.
  • fibrous materials such as coffee grinds and corn husks.

Additionally, ensure that the water is running when you use the garbage disposal and allow the disposal to catch up after the waste is poured down the drain.

However, even with some preventative steps and knowing what to avoid putting down the drain, clogs still occur. There are a few simple DIY actions that homeowners can take to fix drains.

Step 2: Check the Garbage Disposal

Frequently, the garbage disposal is jammed, which causes the clogged drain. First, turn on the garbage disposal (with the water running!) and listen for a healthy motor. If you hear a low hum, then check the disposal!

If the garbage disposal seems to be the problem, then there are a couple of steps to clean the disposal. To start, unplug the unit and ensure that are no tripped breakers in the fuse box.

Next, attempt to clear the clog by turning the blades manually with an Allen wrench (there should be a hole at the bottom of the disposal).

garbage_disposal

If the blades were clogged, then when you plug the unit back in and turn it on (it might need a minute to cool off – if so, press the reset button on the bottom and try again) everything should work.

If the clog persists, but the garbage disposal is clear and working, then additional steps are needed.

Step 3: Try the Plunger to Remove Debris

For minor clogs, homeowners can fix the problem with some DIY knowledge and elbow grease. The most likely reason for the clog is something something stuck in the drain. The plunger is the perfect tool! By removing the substance that is causing the clog, then the drain will be fine.

Do not plunge the sink if you tried a commercial drain cleaner. Allow the drain cleaner to work through the sink because the chemicals are dangerous if they touch your skin while plunging the sink. In general using chemicals can do more harm than good on the drain pipes.

To use the plunger effectively:

  1. partially fill the sink with water.
  2. work the plunger to break up the clog.
  3. remove any waste that comes into the sink.

The plunger may break up some substances, but the clog may not be cleared. If the clog persists, then it is possible to uncover the blockage through snaking the pipes or cleaning the trap.

Step 4: Use Baking Soda & Vinegar

As we all learned in high school chemistry class, baking soda and vinegar are mortal enemies. Fortunately, we can leverage their explosive reaction to unclog and clear drains.

To let science work its magic, then follow these steps.

  1. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
  2. Add about ½ cup of baking soda (let this sit for a few minutes).
  3. Combine 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of boiling water and pour down the drain.
  4. Explosion. (The baking soda and vinegar do not mix well.)
  5. Cover the drain and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Flush the drain with another pot of boiling water.

If the clogged drain continues to persist, then it may be time to call a professional because you likely have a bigger issue.

Plus, it’s the holidays, so don’t let a plumbing issue ruin your holiday weekend.

As always, SolvIt is here to help. We provide 24/7 services (everyday, including holidays), so feel free to contact us anytime and make sure the water runs smoothly all weekend long.

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