We often flush and pour things down the drain that shouldn’t go down there. Most of us don’t even think about it. Vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, toiletries and plate leftovers all usually end up down the drain. But what many people don’t realize is how much damage these items can cause to piping. Not to mention how much money it could potentially cost you to fix that damage. Many of us experience a blocked drain every once in a while. Frequent clogs are a point of concern. The best way to prevent clogs and back ups is to avoid putting certain items down the drain. Continue reading to find out more about which things you should avoid putting down the drain. If you are experiencing a clogged drain, make sure to contact a plumber right away before it further damages your pipes. For a professional and reliable Cedar Hill plumbing company, call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating at (972) 291-0740.
Importance of Preventing Blocked Drains
By preventing blocked drains, you are doing more than avoiding inconvenient plumbing issues. Clogs can cause pipe damage and even lead to burst pipes or flooding. Burst and damaged pipes can be difficult to fix, depending on where the pipe is located. An internal pipe may be easily accessible through the walls or exposed piping. An external burst pipe, on the other hand, will require a video camera inspection and an excavation to gain access to the pipe. When you prevent clogs, you are saving yourself a lot of time and money that you may otherwise have to spend on a damaged pipe. To avoid clogged pipes, you need to avoid putting any of the ten following items down the drain.
1. Grease and Fat
When flushed down the drain, grease and fat don’t easily flow to the sewer. They often stick to the walls of the piping as they cool, causing the fat to build up over time. Not only are they one of the biggest clog causers, they are also one of the hardest to remove. Depending on how large the clog is, it may take heavy-duty equipment such as hydro jets to remove them. To avoid getting grease and fat down the drain, do your best to scrape off any greasy pots or pans before you wash them.
No one is a stranger to this kind of clog, especially people with longer hair. The way that drain covers are designed makes it easy for hair to wrap around or get caught. Soap and other residue mixes with the hair and turns it into a clogging clump. While hair caught in the drain cover is easy to remove, it can also form clogs further down the piping, which are harder to remove. The easiest way to prevent hair from getting flushed down the drain is to purchase a hair catcher. You can find these for less than $5 at the store and they will make it easy to keep hair from forming clogs.
Anything from cotton swabs, cotton balls and even multi-ply toilet paper can cause clogs in the drain and sewer. These materials are hard to break down and can become hard and stick to pipe walls once they’ve dried. While we all love multi-ply toilet paper, the thickness of the paper makes it slow to break down. This can cause clumps of toilet paper and other materials to get lodged in the piping.
4. Food Waste
One of the biggest culprits of clogs is food waste. Anything from vegetable peels to rice and pasta can stick to the walls of piping and cause blockages. Most of us just wash our dishes off with the leftovers still stuck to them because it is easier. But, to avoid clogs from food waste, you should always scrape off your dishes before you rinse or wash them. Even if you have a garbage disposal, clogs can still form from food waste.
5. Foreign Objects
If you have kids, you may have experienced a toy shoved down the sink or flushed down the toilet or bathtub. In some cases, the pieces are small enough to easily flow through the drain without a problem. In other cases, the toy may become lodged in the piping. While it may not completely block waterflow, it could seriously slow it down and eventually cause pipe damage. This one is a little harder to prevent, but for bathtubs caretakers can buy the aforementioned hair catchers. They are essentially cheap, plastic strainers that prevent hair and other things to go down the drain.
6. Bath Salts and Bath Bombs
This one may catch many people by surprise. Just because something has the name “bath” in it, doesn’t necessarily mean it should go down the bathtub drain. When bath bombs and salts dissolve, sometimes they leave small clumps that you may not notice as the bathtub drains. These clumps can get stuck to debris on the walls of the piping and build up over time. To avoid this issue, you can wait for the bath bomb or salts to completely dissolve in the bathtub or you can find a fun alternative like bubble bath liquid.
7. Disposable or Flushable Wipes
While the name makes them sound perfect for the toilet, disposable and flushable wipes are neither disposable nor flushable. These wipes don’t actually fully dissolve in pipes and instead partially dissolve at a very slow pace. As they travel through the piping, many of them get stuck on debris and buildup. Over time, these wipes can clump together and cause a large clog in your bathroom plumbing. There is nothing wrong with using these wipes, just make sure they go in the trash when you are finished using them.
Try not to flush flour and other dried and processed grains, such as millet or cornstarch, down the drain. These often dry and stick to debris and other buildup throughout your kitchen plumbing. They can become extremely sticky and cause even more buildup as food waste and other items are flushed down the drain. A great way to clean flour and processed grains without washing them in the sink first is to take a wet cloth and wipe it over the floured or dirty surface.
This probably sounds counterintuitive, but liquid soap can actually cause blockages. Many use more liquid soap than they need to which means a lot of it goes straight down the drain. This soup clumps together with hair and other debris buildup, forming a gooey mass that can be hard to remove. To avoid this problem, try using bar soap instead or limit how many pumps of liquid soap you use.
10. Coffee Grounds and Eggshells
When cleaning out your coffee press, reusable k-cups or coffee maker – whatever you do – don’t dump your coffee grounds down the sink. The same goes for eggshells. Both coffee grounds and eggshells are sticky when wet and dry hard. They get stuck to debris build up and pipe walls as they flow through your kitchen plumbing. Eventually, they begin to accumulate and more and more debris builds up. As a standard practice, be sure to dump your coffee grounds and eggshells in the trash instead of the sink.
Cedar Hill Plumbing for Blocked Drains
If you experience constant backups and clogs, it may time to call a plumber. Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating has the equipment necessary to quickly remove clogs. Our knowledgeable team uses our video camera pipe inspection tool to find the clog and then remove it with a drain snake or our hydro jet. Dial One Johnson Plumbing Cooling and Heating has been a trusted Cedar Hill water company since 1965. Our technicians are highly skilled, trained, qualified and friendly. At Dial One Johnson, customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we go above and beyond to accomplish that. For high quality, reliable Cedar Hill plumbing, you need Dial One Johnson. Schedule an appointment with our team at (972) 291-0740 or contact us online.