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7 Tips on How to Prevent Drain Clogs

Has your shower turned into an unwelcome shallow bath? Or maybe your kitchen sink is refusing to drain? Few household problems are as disruptive to your living environment as a clogged drain. Not only will a clogged drain only get worse if left untreated, but sometimes it can lead to unexpected disaster at a time when you need the drain most! Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this unpleasant experience from happening. As one of the top plumbers in Harrisburg, WM Buffington knows that clogged drains are a common problem for homeowners which is why we want to share our top seven tips to prevent them. Check them out, and if you need help clearing a drain in your home, give us a call!  

Comb Hair Before Showering

One of the biggest culprits for drain clogging is hair! If you have long or thick hair, this tip is especially for you. It can be very difficult to avoid hair getting into the sink and shower drains, after all, you can’t help if strands of hair come out while you are washing. The easiest way to mitigate the amount of hair naturally lost to the drain is to brush or comb your hair thoroughly before taking a shower or bath. Even a quick brush will help remove the majority of hair that would naturally fall out in the shower. 

Use Drain Protectors

Another great method for preventing drains from clogging is to use a drain protector. Drain protectors are small and simple tools that you place over the plughole in your sink, bath, or shower. They act as a shield, against any food, hair, and all other types of unwanted solid items from going down your drain. Make sure to measure the drain's diameter before you order a drain protector, otherwise, you could end up with one that doesn't fit properly and won't work effectively.

Invest in Regular Unblocker Treatments

If your first lines of defense falter and you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, then your next bet will be to invest in regular drain cleaners and unblocking treatments. It’s good practice to set a usual day of the month where you run hot water down the drain to help release built-up grease and clear the wall of the pipes. Slightly more aggressive than simply hot water are various drain cleaner products that guarantee to keep your drain free of any clogs. 

Avoid Home Remedies

In relation to the above, it’s wise to be specific about what drain cleaners you choose. You might see various home remedy solutions online that claim a quick and easy unclogging with common household items such as vinegar and baking soda (if you’re curious, the concoction is made from equal parts baking soda, salt, and vinegar). Unfortunately, this is not the most effective method and can still fail to clear many of the most robust clogs. It’s best to keep the baking soda, salt, and vinegar for cooking, rather than waste them down the drain. It’s better to invest in commercial unblocking products. There are many to select from on the market; but if you’re worried about harsh chemicals and their effect on your pipes and the environment, there are plenty of options that are non-corrosive and contain bio-friendly alternative ingredients. 

Proper Disposal

This may seem like a no-brainer, but being attentive about how you’re disposing of waste can help keep your drains from clogging. An obvious example is throwing food away in the trash can instead of down the garbage disposal - coffee grains, egg shells, fibrous fruits, bones, and grease can all cause significant clogging. Be sure to read up on our insight into what you should never put down your garbage disposal. Another major source of clogging is items improperly flushed down the toilet. Specifically dental floss, feminine products, wet wipes, and diapers. These items are commonly flushed and can cause significant blockage to your plumbing system. If you think this tip is nonsense, just look up ‘fatberg London’ and see for yourself just how horrible incorrect disposal can be (to save you trouble, it was a 130-ton mass of oil, grease, and sanitary products - the largest ever discovered in the world).

Have Your Garbage Disposal Serviced

Your kitchen sink takes on the vast majority of waste and, of all the drains in your home, has the highest chance of clogging. Do your sink a favor by servicing or cleaning your garbage disposal regularly so you can help prevent drain clogs. Plumbers in Harrisburg generally recommend a monthly treatment of citrus rinds and ice to keep your garbage disposal blades sharp and smelling great. 

Hire Professional, Qualified Plumbers

 If all of the above tips fail, or if you don’t want to deal with a troublesome clog, it’s important to hire a reputable and qualified plumber. With repairs and replacements to critical housing infrastructure such as your drains and pipes, it’s risky to leave it up to inexperienced individuals. Whether you’re having drain clogging issues with your bathroom, shower, or kitchen sinks, or you simply want a pro to take some preventative steps, if you’re looking for reliable plumbers in Harrisburg, don’t hesitate to contact WM Buffington! 

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