When it comes to a clogged sink, it’s important to understand what steps you need to take to get it unclogged. It’s easy to further damage your plumbing when trying to fix your drain on your own. To avoid unnecessary clogs and ruining your pipes here are some facts and fiction about plugged drains:
Regular maintenance is necessary (FACT)
To avoid clogs it is important for homeowners to take a look at their drains regularly. Every month you should inspect each drain in your home and use cleaning tools to get any gunk out. This will prevent overall buildup in your pipes. Also pouring boiling water down your drain once a week can help keep everything moving in your pipes.
Chemical products can damage your pipes (FACT)
At a glance, commercial cleaning products seem like the perfect solution to fix a clog in your drain. They are relatively inexpensive and require just a simple trip to the store. But what are they really doing in your drain? The chemicals foam up in your pipes, which is a process that is supposed to break down whatever is clogging the drain. This reaction can end up doing more harm than good to your plumbing! The damage done by chemical products can turn a simple project into one that requires professional assistance. Instead of using chemicals, try a vinegar and baking soda solution followed by a hot water rinse.
You can put anything down your garbage disposal (FICTION)
This is one of the most common misconceptions that homeowners have. No, you cannot put everything down your garbage disposal. People tend to think that if it's food, it can go in the garbage disposal, but sometimes the garbage can is your best option. Some foods to avoid putting down your garbage disposal include cooking oils, egg shells, noodles/rice, and meat skins/cartilage. When cleaning out a greasy pan, try wiping it down with a paper towel so minimal amounts of grease will go down the drain. Excess amounts of any of these products can result in damaging clogs and can even break the disposal blade.
Just do it yourself (FICTION)
Sometimes professional help is needed. It is important to recognize when a project is DIY versus when it is time to call a plumber. Standard DIY solutions typically help ease clogs but do not always fix problems long term. If a problem is recurring or seems a little too difficult for you, chances are that it's time to call a professional. Having someone who is equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to fix your clog can save you an extraordinary amount of time and money.
Using drain screens can help keep scum, hair, and other solids from getting down your drain and clogging it. It is important to clean these out regularly.
Coffee grounds should not go down the drain. They were once thought to be a natural cleaner for pipes - today we have found that they act as a cement. Avoid clogging your pipes by throwing them out or composting them.