Kitchen sink, lavatory sink and tub/shower drains are the most frequently clogged drains in every household. Also, often, partial or full drain stoppage may appear in certain circumstances. Of course, if not all, some of this could be prevented with a little knowledge of how drainage works and what not to put in it.
What causes drains to back up?
The most common causes for slow drainage or complete drain back up are foreign objects, hair and grease. Less common reason, but still frequently seen, outdated or improperly installed/replaced drain system. Not properly operational Garbage Disposals, sink strainers, lavatory pop-up stoppers and tub drain-overflow mechanism may be another reason causing slow drainage.
How to prevent clogging from happening?
Best practices to prevent drain lines from clogging are:
- Lavatory sink: Make sure pop-up stopper is operational and at its plase. If not, any type of foreign objects can fall into the drain and cause it to stop up. It's best if you don't put hair in the sink, instead collect it and place in trash can.
- Tub & Shower drains: Common reason to have slow drainage is hair. It is usually tangled up around drain stopper cross and builds up with time. Drain stopper should ramain at its place at all times to prevent random small objects from entering the drain line. Some type of tub drain overflow mechanisms are hidden, not visible if they are properly set in pipe, and restrict operation causing slow drainage.
- Kitchen Sink: Pouring bulk of left over food in Garbage Disposal, most of the time, will lead to instant clog or help for faster build up in pipes. Grease, combined with lots of food in disposal, will cause even faster build up in piping and costly repairs. Keep your Garbage Disposal operational and run it at least weekly to prevent build up in chamber. Over all, we recommend no food to be discarded in Disposal.
DIY or not?
If you have done similar work or you are picking up fast watching youtube videos, I can encourage you to try it. Although, in the process, many things can go wrong and instead of saving some money it might cost you more than it would if you have called a plumber prior to beginning the project.
As always, expensive repairs, can be avoided with basic DIY maintenance and knowledge. Most popular and used products are acid based drain cleaners. They work but could damage your drain components including piping and fittings which, in regular household, are not acid resistant. Less known by mostly home owners, except the ones using septic system, but working well on all types of drains are enzymes. With good products such as BioClean, your drains can be in good, up and running shape all year round with only one treatment per month. It is the less expensive option, long term, comparing to any other options on the market, including acid based products.