How to Prevent and Fix Clogged Drains

Clearing drain with plumber snake

Clogged drains are a nuisance that every homeowner is likely to face. Whether it’s a minor kitchen sink clog or a major sewer line obstruction, having a stopped-up drain can lead to unnecessary stress and expense. Fortunately, with some know-how, a few preventative measures, and the proper clogged drain repair methods, you can avoid this inconvenience or fix it promptly if it occurs.

Understanding What Causes Clogged Drains

If you hope to prevent drain clogs, you must first understand what causes them. Some common culprits include:

  • Hair and soap scum in the bathroom sink
  • Food particles and grease in the kitchen sink
  • Foreign objects in the toilet
  • Tree roots and other obstructions in the sewer line

Drain Clog Prevention Strategies

With the above causes in mind, take the following proactive steps to avoid clogged drains:

  • Use drain guards: Simple mesh strainers are perfect for catching hair and food particles before they flow down the drain.
  • Avoid pouring grease in the sink: Hot grease is a liquid, but once it cools, it hardens into a drain-clogging glob. Keep this substance out of your kitchen sink to keep things flowing smoothly.
  • Don’t flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper: Items like facial tissues, paper towels, feminine products, and even “flushable” wipes belong in the trash, not down the toilet.
  • Schedule regular sewer drain inspections: A video camera inspection informs you of any tree roots or other obstructions clogging the main sewer line so you can take action before a severe blockage or backup occurs.

DIY Drain Cleaning Solutions

Slow drain? Before calling a plumber, try these DIY tips:

  • Break out the plunger: Use a standard cup plunger for clogged sinks or tubs. If the toilet is giving you trouble, reach for a flange plunger.
  • Rent a drain auger: This useful tool features a flexible cable with a corkscrew head designed to break up pipe clogs.
  • Try biodegradable drain cleaners: Be careful with chemical drain cleaners, which can harm your plumbing if used repeatedly. Biodegradable products are more eco-friendly, though they take longer to work.

When to Seek Professional Help

While minor clogs can be tackled with a plunger, drain auger, or drain cleaner, sometimes you need a professional touch. Here’s when drain cleaning services may be necessary:

  • Persistent clogs: If a clog recurs or doesn’t clear despite your efforts, it might be too stubborn for you to tackle yourself.
  • Multiple clogs: If several drains clog simultaneously, it may indicate a problem in the main sewer line.
  • Backed-up drains: If dirty water flows up from your sinks and tubs, it could signal a bigger issue requiring sewer line repair.

Schedule Sewer Drain Cleaning

Mike Counsil Plumbing is ready to assist with all your plumbing needs. Established in 1994, our family-owned company provides the best services available, thanks to our dedicated team of plumbing technicians. We pride ourselves on finding solutions quickly and cost-effectively, so you can trust us to get your drain flowing smoothly again. For drain cleaning services in San Jose, Mountain View, and the surrounding South Bay area, please contact us at 408-916-1226.

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