Preventing Clogged Drains In Older Homes

Posted on: 30 August 2016

A clogged drain in your home is a pain, especially when it happens past the u-bend in your plumbing. When you get a clog there, it means you have to either get a snake to auger out the clog or hire a plumber to come take a look. Both are troublesome, time consuming, and in the case of the plumber, expensive. There are steps you can take to prevent clogs, especially in older homes with older pipes and plumbing.

Prevention is Key

The first step to preventing clogs is not putting anything down the drain that could clog it. One of the best ways to prevent this is by using a mesh basket strainer. For less than a couple of bucks, you can get one of these at your local hardware store. They come in a variety of sizes, meant to fit anything from a small tub drain to a large garage sink. You can get them in both metal and plastic; the metal tends to have a finer mesh than plastic strainers. This is because the metal can be thin and still maintain strength, where a fine plastic mesh will just tear under stress.

Make sure you actually use them and empty them. If you don't empty the strainers regularly, they're going to restrict drainage, which defeats the purpose of getting them in the first place. When they become worn or excessively soiled, they're cheap and easy to replace.

Watch What You Dump

There are certain things that are almost guaranteed to cause clogs. Among these are grease, any grains (like rice, cornmeal, oatmeal, etc.), and hair. Long hair is especially prone to causing clogs in the tub because they tangle themselves around the plug and other fixtures. One way to keep your drains clear of hair is to snake them every month. The snake is a flexible metal line with an open coil on one end. As you feed it in, you spin it, and the open coil will grab any hair, allowing you to pull it out. For other drains, use hot water and dish soap to clean them. Don't use boiling water as it can spit back up and cause burns. You just need the water hot enough to melt any greasy residue.

Clogs in your sink are a hassle, but they're also easily prevented. Just remember to use common sense. If you do get a clog that doesn't respond to over-the-counter methods, and you aren't comfortable trying to fix it on your own, make sure to contact a licensed plumber (like those at Gold Seal Plumbing).