Clogged sink drain

Clogged Drain 101: What You Need to Know

Tips on Clogged Drains and How to Eliminate Them

One of the most troublesome (and expected) plumbing problems a homeowner can run into is a clogged drain. Whether they encounter a blockage in the kitchen sink or the bathtub down the hall, no drain seems to be off-limits from running into an issue.

However, there are a few ways that homeowners can help lessen the chances of a clogged drain — but first, they have to understand how they form in the first place!

Things That Cause a Drain to Clog

Large Pieces of Food

Do you have leftovers chilling in your fridge (literally) that have been sitting there for too long? If so, it’s best to toss them out and not risk the chance of consuming them.

However, many homeowners feel inclined to jam them down the sink, rather than toss them into a nearby garbage can. When that’s the case, even with a garbage disposal, you’ll risk the chance of running into a clogged drain.

Some things you’ll want to avoid putting into your drain include but are not limited to:

  • Fruit pits (i.e., peaches).

  • Animal bones (i.e., chicken wings).

  • Stringy/starchy foods (i.e., spaghetti).

Cooking Grease

When frying up a pan of bacon, where do you typically dispose of the leftover grease? If you pour it down the nearest drain, that’s a cause for concern. As it turns out, the once-hot liquid will start to solidify as it cools down. It then has the chance of clinging to the walls of your drain, narrowing the “escape route” for water.

To avoid a plumbing-induced headache in your home, skip pouring cooking grease down the drain and consider tossing it into a nearby garbage can — but follow these steps first:

  1. Carefully pour the hot cooking grease into a tin can.

  2. Let the grease cool and solidify (completely) in the can.

  3. Once safe, carefully take the can and toss it into a nearby garbage pail.

Now, if you have already disposed of some non-drain-safe items down your sink and think you may have a potential clog on your hands, here’s what you need to look for.

Signs a Drain Will Eventually Clog

Water Slowly Drains

The second after you use a sink, shower, or tub, water should begin to leave the basin and exit down the drain as soon as possible. However, if something is clinging to the drainpipe walls and narrows the passage for water to leave the premises — or there’s an item that’s lodged further down the drain — water will start to drain very slowly (or not at all).

A Foul Odor Permeates Through the Drain

Every time you hover over the drain, does it smell fresh or rotten? If the scent resembles anything of the latter description, that should be a cause for concern. As mentioned before, there’s a chance that something could be stuck to the drainpipe or lodged in the middle of it from misuse.

But, if there happens to be a piece of food — or cooking byproduct — that has been lingering in the pipe for quite some time, there’s a chance that it could be sitting there, rotting.

Now, if you’re looking to eliminate a clog from forming or you’re scared one might return, don’t panic — there are a few simple ways to help ease that burden!

Ways to Eliminate Clogged Drains at Home

Be Mindful of Your Drain Usage

Earlier, we mentioned some of the most common actions that create clogged drains — and their solutions. However, it’s vital to turn over a new leaf and be mindful of how you use the drains around your home. If you’re unsure whether or not to dispose of something down the drain, consider tossing it into a nearby garbage can instead.

Another vital tip to keep in mind is never to use a chemical drain cleaner to get rid of a clog. While it seems like a simple and quick fix to get rid of a clog or prevent one from happening, the cleaner can do more harm than good. Believe it or not, these cleaners are jam-packed with an array of harmful chemicals that will not only be harmful to inhale but can corrode your drain pipes over time.

Schedule a Professional Drain Cleaning

In addition to being mindful of how you use the drains around your humble abode, consider scheduling a professional drain cleaning with an experienced drain technician. Just like getting a cleaning from your dentist, a professional cleaning can be looked at in a similar light: the technician will examine the drain and look for any discrepancies.

From there, they’ll give the walls of the drainpipe a deep, safe cleaning and will make sure that there are no blockages further down within the drain. Within one session, you’ll have a clean, almost-like-new drain — which will lessen the chances of running into a clog in months ahead.

Our Philadelphia Drain & Sewer Business Has Your Back

As professional drain and sewer contractors, we offer a wide variety of options for drain and sewer needs. We’re also equipped with all the cutting-edge tools and technology your home or business needs, from high-powered jetting to trenchless piping to camera inspections.

If you run into a problem with your drain, give your friends at TLC Drain & Sewer a call at (215) 639-7473!