How to Prevent and Clear Clogged Drains

As a homeowner who takes pride in keeping your home in top shape, the last thing you want is to deal with a clogged drain. Unfortunately, you will experience this problem at some point in time. The good news is that you can take some preventive measures to avoid clogged drains.

Here, we’ll explore the signs of serious clogs, steps you can take to keep your drains flowing, and measures you can take to clear a blockage in your Virginia Beach, VA, home.

Is My Clog Serious?

If you find that plunging or chemical use won’t clear the clog, chances are you’re contending with a serious problem. Telltale signs that something is wrong include:

  • Gurgling sounds emanating from the pipes or drains
  • Multiple drains are blocked
  • Wastewater is overflowing in your sinks or kitchen
  • Presence of dark debris or hair in the ponding water

Clearing Your Drains

Let’s look at some reliable techniques and strategies that can help you maintain clog-free drains.

Flush Out Your Drains

While low water volume from aerated faucets and shower heads helps conserve water, it doesn’t bode well for your drains. Occasionally flushing out your pipes can help counteract this problem. Fill your sinks and tubs to the brim, then pull the stopper. The water will rush down the pipes, dislodging minor buildup along the way. You won’t know if anything has been cleared out or not, but it’s worth the effort.

Don’t Put Food Down the Kitchen Drain 

You tempt fate every time you pour food particles down the kitchen drain. Always scrape food off plates and other utensils before putting them in the dishwasher or sink.

Certain food types are more likely to cause drain clogs than others. These include eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels, and potato skins. They can easily get caught up in the blades of the garbage disposal. Their sticky nature also increases the risk of sticking inside drains.

Be Careful What You Flush

Toilets are only meant to dispose of human waste and toilet paper. Even then, using too much toilet paper can cause a clog. You’ll want to err on the side of caution with baby wipes and feminine products and throw them in the trash can. If you have kids in the house, make it clear that they shouldn’t flush toys and other foreign objects down the toilet.

Keep Grease Out of the Sink 

It’s easy for a homeowner to assume that water washes everything in its path. However, fats are sticky and tend to cause buildups and clogs. The best place to dispose of fats, oil, and grease is the trash can. You can also pour them into a disposable dish before dumping them in the trash.

Catch Hair Before It Reaches the Drain

Hair can accumulate in the shower drain to the point where it causes a clog. Consider installing a mesh screen or a stopper with a perforated hair catcher. A mesh drain cover in the bathroom sinks will also be beneficial for your drains. Always clean your combs over the trash, and regularly pull hair out of the drain with a pair of tweezers.

What to Do If Your Drain Clogs

As you wait for the plumber, you can attempt the following things.

Use a sanitary plunger: Whether it’s the kitchen sink or the shower that’s clogged, a good old-fashioned plunger may do the trick.  Move it up and down swiftly and several times. The influx of pressure will loosen trapped debris, allowing it to move down the drain. Repeat the process until the toilet flushes properly or water doesn’t pool in the sink.

Try eco-friendly, homemade cleaners: You can tackle relatively minor clogs with water alone. Boil some water and when it starts to bubble, pour it slowly into the drain.

If you are dealing with a tougher clog, pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, then half a cup of vinegar. Use a rag to immediately plug up the drain. Give the concoction an hour to bubble and dissolve through the clog. Pour a pot of hot water down the drain and follow it up with more hot water.

Depending on the severity of the blockage, you may have to repeat this process a few times.

Call a Plumber

If you have tried all the above solutions and failed, consider a professional plumber to help. Some blockages are so serious that only someone with the right experience and equipment can handle them. Once the drain is unclogged and cleaned, avoid anything that might cause the blockage again.

A1 Sewer & Drain has a team of licensed plumbers and drain cleaners who are always ready to handle your plumbing problems. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll help you unclog your drains.

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