Preventing Clogs: Drainage Dos and Don'ts

A few helpful ways to keep your sinks, tubs and toilets from backing up in your home

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 3:22 PM EDT
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Preventing Clogs: Drainage Dos and Don'ts

Keeping a strainer over your sink and shower drains can prevent pesky clogs.

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This article is sponsored by Michael & Son, the leading full-service plumbing, electrical, HVAC and remodeling company serving the Washington D.C. area for over 30 years. Learn more about Michael & Son at MichaelandSon.com.

We've all had it happen - a stubborn drain won't swallow dish water, your shower suddenly fills up like a swimming pool or, worse, the toilet refuses to flush.

Fortunately, these instances are easily avoidable. The secret is being mindful of what you put down your drains, and stopping those pesky clogging agents from even making it there in the first place. Here are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind when using your sink, shower and toilet.

For the Sink:
In the best-case scenario, you own a garbage disposal, so your sink can easily digest large chunks of food. If you don't own one, you can always give Michael & Son a call to install one.

In the meantime, though, make sure to keep a strainer over your drain. Maintaining a clean drain is as simple as remembering to periodically empty the strainer into the garbage.

For an even cleaner sink, be certain to avoid pouring grease or any type of fat down the drain. These liquids will expand in your pipes on chilly days.

For the Shower:
No household can evade the dreaded clusters of hair that appear at the bottom of the shower. But fear not, you can still prevent that hair from falling into your drainage system. Just as you'd maintain a sink, consider keeping a strainer in the shower, which will prevent clumps of hair from navigating down the drain and sticking there permanently.

The second shower drain killer is, surprisingly, soap. When pieces of soap get too small, they can mingle with loose hair and cling to the inside of your pipes. The solution? Simply unwrap a new bar of soap before the old one gets too small.

For the Toilet:
Last but not least -- and definitely the last of these drains you want clogging up! -- is the toilet. To prevent the dreaded toilet clog, never flush any paper products outside of toilet paper. All other paper will cause trouble, including facial tissues, paper towels or women's products, amongst many others. Remember, your toilet is not your trashcan.

Unfortunately, most younger members of your home haven't learned this lesson yet. As an extra precaution, keep the lid down at all times to guarantee that a small toy won't get lost somewhere it certainly doesn't belong.

These techniques are all quick, easy and effective ways to keep your drains clear. And yet, despite your best efforts, some problems can still arise. If your drains continue acting up, don't hesitate to contact a Michael & Son professional to fix the issue and keep your home clog free. 

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