Indoor plumbing can often feel like both a blessing and a curse. It’s amazing when it works well, and totally awful when it malfunctions. As your top choice for plumbing in Altoona, PA, Caporuscio Plumbing & Heating Inc. often fields questions from customers regarding their clogged drains. Specifically, many people ask us why their drains get clogged in the first place!
This is a great question, and fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent clogs from occurring. Here are a few tips on what can clog the drains in your home—and how to combat the situation.
Bathroom drains hate hygienic products
We clean and care for our bodies in the bathroom, and this usually means making use of a wide variety of hygienic products. While these may be good for your health and wellbeing, they are a deadly enemy for your plumbing. Never try to flush items down your toilet that will not easily dissolve and disintegrate in water. Some top repeat offenders we encounter all too often in the homes of our customers include:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Diaper wipes
- Facial wipes
- Dental floss
Kitchen drains hate oil and grease
It’s tempting to toss just about anything down our kitchen sink, especially if we have a garbage disposal. After all, the disposal’s job is to get rid of unwanted food byproducts, right? Well, not necessarily. There are several materials that you should never put down your drains, as they will eventually lead to nasty clogs. These include all sorts of cooking oils, and any fats or grease that result from cooking. These things will congeal and block up your pipes, and they can be tricky to get rid of without professional help.
Bonus tip: Never, ever pour flour down the drain. It seems light and harmless at first, but it too will congeal into a ball that gums up the works.
What to do if the damage is done
If it’s too late for prevention and you’ve got to move on to a resolution of a nasty situation at hand, turn to your plunger first. For bathtubs and sinks, be sure to cover the overflow drain first. If this is ineffective, take out the elbow joint of your drain and give it a thorough cleaning.
Toilets can be extra tricky, but give your plunger the old college try. If this doesn’t work and you have access to a drain auger, utilize this next. Most hand augers will give you a range of between two and five feet, and this might be enough to reach and break up the clog.
Don’t make the situation worse
Remember, it’s best to call for professional help with plumbing in Altoona, PA if you have a problem that you aren’t confident you can remedy. It’s possible to cause more harm than good if you don’t really understand what you’re doing, so don’t risk having to pay for pipe replacement or leak damage if the clog is severe.