Clogged drains and backed up toilets are two of the most common problems homeowners face. It’s frustrating and annoying to have the water back up rather than flow freely down as it should. Whether the clogged is in the bathroom or the kitchen, you just want to get the water to drain and move on with life.
Plumbers are expensive, especially after hours or on weekends or holidays, the times you’re most likely to need to make that call. Don’t worry, the most common drain plug culprits can be remedied easily by the average person in short order and without a big bill due.
Hair and Soap Scum
Shower, tub and bathroom sink drains are magnets for hair and soap scum. Over time, they combine and build up inside the drain, restricting the flow of water, causing a backup. Look into the drain opening. If you see hair and other material, use your fingers or an appropriate tool to pull the hair out.
Check the drain regularly to keep it clear. The best way to avoid clogs caused by hair, however, is to not get hair in them in the first place. Keep the hair from becoming a nuisance by installing inexpensive hair catchers in the drain. It will capture the hair, allowing you to remove it easily, yet still allow the water to drain properly.
You should never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down your toilet. This is contrary to what many people believe, mostly due to inaccurate product descriptions and a lack of knowledge. Some baby wipes and adult personal care wipes claim to be “flushable”, which makes them seem safe in the eyes of consumers.
Those so-called safe products can cause massive clogs, leading to back-ups and damage to septic systems, sewer lines, and even the home’s structure. Remind everyone in your home that disposable items should always be put in the trash, never the toilet bowl.
In the event that they failed to listen to you, here’s how to unclog a toilet quickly.
When you’re in your kitchen, preparing a meal for your loved ones, you may be tempted to use the garbage disposal or sink to dispose of used grease. After all, you’re done using it and the sink provides a convenient way to get rid of it. While you can certainly rinse the occasional greasy pan into the drain, you definitely shouldn’t make a habit of it.
Over time, grease builds up in pipes and congeals along the sides and at the elbows and bends. Once enough builds up, the openings become restricted and eventually the drain pipe is completely clogged, causing water to back up into the sink. Put grease in a jar or can and dispose of it in the trash and your drain with remain open and drain easily.
Prior to washing greasy pots or pans, liberally sprinkle them with baking soda and wipe them out with a damp paper towel, discarding it in the trash. Not only will this save your drains from grease buildup, but it will also make washing dishes considerably easier.
Parents of small children and pet owners know that if sometimes things end up in the toilet that shouldn’t be. Whether it’s one of the kid’s or dog’s toys or random items from around the house, foreign objects make their way into toilets every day. The problem is, some items will get stuck on the way down and the water will flow back up out of the toilet and all over the bathroom floor.
This one is, perhaps, one of the toughest things to control because kids don’t really understand the consequences. The best thing that you can do is get in habit of leaving the lid down and closing the door so pets can’t get in and supervising children when in the bathroom.
Backed up toilets and clogged drains are an unfortunate fact of life for homeowners. With these simple tips, you should be able to minimize their effect and take care of most issues you encounter.
However, if you’re having drain problems you can’t solve easily, however, call in a professional plumber to take care of it for you. Don’t hesitate because leaks caused by backed up drains cause water damage to walls, floors and even the framework of the home if they aren’t caught and repaired quickly.
Better Uses for Plungers
If you follow the aforementioned tips, you won’t have to worry about having a plunger on hand and you can use your plunger for other things.