With the holidays upon us, clogs in your kitchen or bathroom are more likely to happen due to the increased numbers of people that are in the house. Some clogs are easy to clean out by yourself, and others will require a professional to come and clean out your drain system.
Clogs In the Kitchen
One of the most common sources of clogs in the kitchen is food going down the drain. Grains, cereals, and soft bits of bread will stick in the drain, and cause other things start catching. Another common cause of drain clogs is grease. As grease cools, it solidifies and sticks to the side walls of the drain. The consolidated grease can catch other food particles and block your drain. If you have a clogged kitchen sink, a plunger can help you remove the clog, by forcing water through the drain, loosening the clog. You should fill the sink up with water high enough to cover the top of the plunger, and then push down on the plunger, going straight up and down until the water drains from the sink.
A trick to avoiding clogs in the future is to pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and a 1/2 cup of warm vinegar down the drain. The reaction of the baking soda and the vinegar will help clear out the drain, and solve any odor problems that you have from the material that is coating the drains.
Garbage Disposal Clogs
Garbage disposals are useful in the kitchen, but there are some things that you shouldn’t ever put down them. Coffee grounds, vegetable peels such as potato and carrot, and eggshells will all grind down to a fine or paste-like substance that will increase your risk of clogs. A good way to help handle odors is to regularly grind up ice cubes and lemon peels. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used to help combat odors from your garbage disposal.
Bathroom Drain Clogs
One of the most frequent causes of clogs in the bathroom is hair. If you can see the clog, you can use a wire coat hanger, tweezers or even needle nose pliers, and pull the obstruction out of the drain. If the obstruction isn’t visible, you can use a plunger to help force the clog down the drain line, and get your drains flowing again. In order to prevent clogs, you can dump a gallon of boiling water down the drain, although you should not use this trick with the toilet, as the water could crack the porcelain bowl. Every few months, pour some baking soda and vinegar down the drain to help keep it clean.
In general, equipping all of your drains with strainers appropriate to the types of things that go down the drain is a good idea. They make strainers that work with bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and showers to help prevent hair from causing clogs. You should keep the strainers in your kitchen sink drain to help catch any food debris from entering the drain.
If you have small children around the house, they will sometimes think it is a game to see what they can get to go down the drain. Keeping those drains covered will help foreign objects, such as toys, from going down the drain or into the garbage disposal.
When To Call a Plumber
If you are not able to clear a clog with a plunger or hot water, you should call a plumber. If your main sewer line is clogged, you will probably need a professional to help you remove the obstruction, and make sure that all the lines are clear.