Clogged or sluggish drains are one of the most common household complaints when it comes to plumbing. In fact, they are so common that you have probably already dealt with one yourself. The good news is many problems with clogs can be avoided with a little care and attention in the kitchen and bathroom. So before you start cleaning up after your Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you know what foods you shouldn’t be putting down your drain.
Nearly everyone knows that pouring grease or fat down the drain is a no-no, but not everyone realizes that there a host of common foods that also contribute to grease buildup in the drain. Fats from cooking should always be poured into a can or other container and discarded in the trash once the grease cools. Dishes used to cook or serve the following foods should be scraped thoroughly before washing in the sink.
Bits of food, coffee grounds and eggshells should also be avoided as they will stick to any grease and buildup already in your drain. Put greasy food in the trash and avoid putting them in the garbage disposal, too.
Bathroom drains are just as notorious for clogging, except with hair and body oils instead of food. While you can’t prevent body oils and soil from going down the drain, there are some things you can do to prevent problems with clogged drains.
Regular drain cleaning will go a long way toward keeping your drains flowing smoothly and avoiding clogs. There are a number of products on the market for routine drain cleaning, but you can also use baking soda, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or simply pour a gallon of hot water down the drain and then follow by running warm water for about five minutes to flush the gunk out of the drain. A once-per-month treatment should keep your drains flowing freely.
If your drain is sluggish or clogged and doesn’t respond to cleaning or flushing the drain, you might need to clean out the trap below the sink. If this isn’t something you are comfortable doing, or if you suspect a more serious problem, call your local plumber to check out the situation. He or she will have the expertise to identify and correct any issue that might be causing your problems with clogged or sluggish drains.
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