3 Simple Ways to Avoid Clogs

Today's blog is about clogs. It's a clog blog, if you will. (Sorry, we found that amusing.)

Terrible jokes aside, a slow-running or clogged main drain line is an annoying and expensive problem. Here are 3 easy things you can do to make sure your drains stay clear. (Warning: more terrible rhymes ahead.)

1. When in doubt, toss it out!

Toilet paper is biodegradable and breaks down in water, but other things don't break down and can get stuck somewhere deep in your home's pipes. This includes (but is not limited to) paper towels, wet wipes, tissues, dental floss, diapers, feminine hygiene products, Q-tips, cotton balls, etc. Even "flushable" wipes aren't biodegradable and will eventually cause problems if you keep flushing them. So if it's not toilet paper, don't flush it!

2. Strain the drains!

It's always a good idea to install strainers on all of the drains in your home. Strainers are inexpensive and will help catch any food, hair, or other debris that would otherwise go down the drain and into your plumbing. We've also heard horror stories of people dropping jewelry and other valuables down open drains; you won't have to worry about that if the drain is covered with a strainer.

3. Cease the grease!

This is a big one: DON'T POUR GREASE OR OIL DOWN THE DRAIN, even in the garbage disposal! You might think it isn't a big deal because grease is liquid, but the big thing about grease is that it solidifies as it cools. Even if you run hot water as you pour the grease down the drain, it will cool as it flows through the pipes and it'll stick. Even small amounts of grease can build up and create a nasty clog. The problem goes deeper than just a greasy buildup; further down in the city sewers, the fatty acids found in grease can continue to build up until they eventually cause sewers to back up into the surrounding homes. Super gross.

DON'T pour hot or even warm grease in the trash, as it might start a fire. Here are some alternative ways to get rid of grease: (1) If it's a small amount of grease, let it cool and harden in the pan, and wipe it into the trash with a paper towel. (2) Pour it in a glass container or old coffee can, keep the container in the fridge and keep adding to it whenever there is more grease to be disposed of, and carefully throw out the closed container when it's full. (3) Pour it in a bowl and let it harden in the fridge or freezer, then scoop the grease into a plastic bag and throw it in the trash. (4) Save it to use in future cooking! Read about that here.

Keeping your main drain clear is not limited to the 3 things on this list. Be mindful of what you're putting down the drain at all times, don't throw just anything into the garbage disposal, and teach your kids about the importance of taking care of your home's drain system. And as a rule of thumb, if you find yourself questioning whether or not you should put something down the drain, just put it in the trash.

Even if you follow all these guidelines, clogs can still happen, and sometimes they can be a sign of a deeper problem like a broken sewer line or tree root intrusion. So don't wait for it to get worse! Call us at 586-459-0040. We have the tools to completely clear the toughest clogs and fix any problems we find.