Clogged drains can be frustrating, even when it is only a partial clog that allows the water to go down the drain but at a snail's pace. Food, hair and other gunk commonly end up in the drain, gradually building up and slowing down the flow of water. Knowing how drains get clogged in the first place and taking the necessary steps to keep them clean can save you from the headache of dealing with a clogged drain. Since drain cleaning isn't something most people happily add to their "to do" list, here are a few simple ways to keep your drain clean and avoid clogs.
1. Clean and Inspect Drains Regularly
Drains often become clogged because they fall into the "out of sight, out of mind" category of cleaning. Drain cleaning simply isn't something many people think of when doing routine house cleaning, but the first step in preventing a clogged drain is keeping them clean. If you are mindful of what is being put down the drains, you shouldn't have to clean them very often; maybe once a month. It is important to check drains routinely, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, to make sure there isn't a buildup of soap, grease, and hair.
2. The Sink Isn't a Garbage Can
Toilets, sinks and even the garbage disposal aren't meant to be used as a garbage can. To prevent clogged drains, avoid pouring grease, food and large amounts of soap in the toilet and sink. Drains simply are not built to accommodate many of the items that are put down them on a regular basis. When using your garbage disposal only put small quantities of foods that easily broken down and be sure to run the water when using the garbage disposal.
3. Bath Pets Outdoors or in a Washtub
During warm weather, it's best to bath pets outdoors. If the weather isn't permitting and you have to bathe pets indoors, place a mesh screen over the shower drain to catch excess hair and toss the hair in the garbage can when bathing is done. If possible, use a washtub instead of the bathtub to bathe pets; this way you can empty the water and hair outside instead of down the drain.
4. Brush Hair Before Showering
One of the easiest ways to prevent a buildup of hair in the shower drain is to brush your hair before getting in the shower or bath to help remove most of the loose hair. Brushing your hair before you get in the shower means your hair is getting caught in the brush, instead of going down the drain.
There will be times when clogs cannot be prevented, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Whether it's due to pouring grease down the sink when cleaning up or too much toilet paper being flushed-things happen, but by doing what you can to prevent clogs and addressing small clogs yourself, you can save money and time on the cost of a plumber. However, serious clogs should be addressed by a professional plumber. Trying to clear a serious clog on your own may cause more damage and end up costing you more than if you would have relied on a professional plumber.