Avoiding Plumbing Problems

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Clog Prevention And Removal Guidelines

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Does the bathtub in your house take a long time for the water to drain? Do your sinks back up when you run water in them? Is your toilet having trouble flushing? All of these are signs of a clog in your plumbing system. If left unchecked, the clog can damage the pipes or drains. This guide walks you through clog prevention and how to dislodge clogs that are in the system.


In order to prevent clogs, you need to understand what caused them. The plumbing system is designed to handle wastewater and septic-safe toilet tissue. Other items do not break down and will create a clog. For instance, none of the following should ever be in the drains or toilet:

  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Tampons, pads, liners
  • Grease or oils
  • Coffee grounds

Items on this list should be disposed of in the garage to prevent clogs.


There are several telltale signs that you have a clog somewhere in the system. Water that is slow to drain is the most obvious sign. Fortunately, this also makes it easier to locate the pipe that is clogged. Whatever drain is showing issues is the one that needs to be fixed. 


Once you have determined where the problem is, it's time to work on dislodging it. There are several methods you can use:

  • Pour boiling water down the drain
  • Use household products from stores designed to break up clogs
  • Plunger
  • Plumber's snake

Start at the top of the list and work your way down. The plumber's snake is usually a last resort and is for clogs that are deep in the system or difficult to remove. A plumber usually has to be called for serious clogs like that.


You can protect your drains by adding preventative measures to them. Showers and bathtubs can have hair catchers placed over drains to eliminate clogs caused by human hair. Sinks can have similar products placed over them to prevent food and other objects from clogging the pipes.


By following these guidelines, you can greatly reduce the number of clogs in your plumbing system. If you do experience clogs that you cannot reach, you need to contact a local plumber. They have the tools necessary to remove the clog without causing damage to the drain or pipes. They even offer emergency hours if you need it. For more information about hiring a plumber to fix your pipes, contact a local plumbing company.