A clogged drain at an inappropriate moment is a source of annoyance. Especially if you’ve invited someone home. But it’s more than an inconvenience and embarrassment. It’s a health hazard. Dirty standing water breeds germs. A wet and slippery floor can cause slips and falls. In the absence of a regular cleaning, certain molds begin to develop in your drainage pipe, the worst one being black mold which can cause respiratory problems. An obstructed drain should be seen as an emergency and fixed ASAP.
When your drain gets choked..
In case of a congested drain, follow these instructions to manage the problem efficiently.
- Remove all electrical appliances in the proximity of standing water. Unscrew them if they’re fixed. It’s important to prevent a short-circuit before tending to the clogged pipe.
- Use the age old tried and tested baking soda and vinegar method for bathroom and kitchen sink drains. Take equal measures of salt, baking soda and vinegar. Pour salt and baking soda into the clogged drain followed by vinegar. Let it react for a minute. Chase with boiling water. Do this just once.
- Take out and clean the pop-up stopper in your sink and bathtub. Give it a miss if you don’t know how to go about it.
- If the problem still persists, call your trusted plumber. Don’t be adamant at solving the problem yourself. People often end up creating more trouble while trying to snake the drains themselves.
- Clogged sewer line should be fixed by a professional only.
Preventing Clogged Drains
There are numerous ways in which you can prevent your kitchen and bathroom drains from clogging.
In the Kitchen:
- Manage kitchen waste judiciously: certain things shouldn’t be tossed in your kitchen sink. Things like cooking grease and coffee grounds should be disposed off separately in garbage. Collect cooking grease in a tin can and throw in the bin. These two things have the highest tendency to accumulate in drains. Adding soap scum to this mixture worsens the situation.
- It’s good to give your kitchen disposer a break. Even pureed organic kitchen waste can clog pipes after a certain period. Dump the organic waste in your kitchen garden or plant pots and you’ll see the difference in a fortnight.
- Regular cleaning with salt, baking soda and vinegar can help prevent major clogging in the future. You can also run hot water through your kitchen sink once in a while.
In the Bathroom:
- Shower drains are more likely to be clogged by hair and soap scum, intertwined with each other. It’s better to catch these troublemakers on the surface before they can cause a problem. Use mesh screens for trapping hair and soap. Bathtub and sink stoppers with a built-in screen can be used as well.
- Just because your toilet flushes everything, it’s not alright to throw in dental floss, ear buds, and other personal care stuff. These things will cause obstruction at some point in the sewer line.
- If sewer blockage is a regular issue, try finding the underlying cause. You can get the line “scoped” by a sewer servicing company to see what’s exactly causing the hindrance.
Miscellaneous preventive measures
Avoid rinsing cement, setting-type joint compound or grout down the drain. If it sets in your pipe under the influence of water, that’ll be a major hassle.
While renovating, reconsider the choice of pipes. While metal pipes like galvanized steel and copper are preferred by many, they are most likely to get clogged. Metal pipes erode and corrode with time, and are difficult to install. Plastic pipes like PEX and HDPE provide a better alternative for steel and copper pipes, even outperforming them in certain areas. They are easy to clean, easy to install, and don’t clog often.
It’s vital to analyze the core reason behind frequent drain clogging. Only then you can take the appropriate remedial steps to prevent this problem in the future. Consult your plumber before using any drain cleaning liquid. Different pipes have different chemical compositions and some drain cleaning products can cause more harm than good. Regular cleaning and a little change in your hygiene habits can keep your drains clog-free for long.