Clogged drains always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time, like when you are preparing for a big party. While you cannot completely stop a drain from clogging, there are some proactive steps you can take to prevent it from happening in your Snohomish County, WA, home.

What Causes Clogged Drains?

Part of preventing your drain from developing a stubborn blockage is understanding what causes them in the first place. Below you’ll find the most common causes of a clogged drain:

  • Hair
  • Soap
  • Dirt
  • Oil, grease, and fat
  • Food waste
  • Coffee grounds
  • Objects accidentally dropped
  • Mineral buildup

Remember that whatever is blocking your drain is likely a combination of many things rather than a single substance.

If water is moving slowly down your drain or not at all, that is a clear sign that you have a clog. Call to schedule a drain cleaning as soon as possible because clogs only worsen with time.

Tips for Preventing Clogged Drains

Although it is impossible to completely stop blockages from developing, you can slow them down by following these drain maintenance tips.

Use a Drain Screen

Placing a drain screen over the top of the drain will prevent non-liquid materials from sliding down the drain and contributing to a clog. A screen makes it more difficult for food, hair, and dirt to pass through, but water will continue to flow easily. It’s important to note that most drain screens do not stop oil and grease.

Simply setting the screen over the drain is not the end, though. You must wash it regularly to prevent it from becoming a health hazard. Most drain screens are removable, making them easier to clean. They are a simple, cost-effective solution and can be purchased in most local hardware stores.

Monitor What Goes Down the Drain

It seems obvious, but no food should ever be shoved down your drain. Grease, oil, coffee grounds, eggshells, and grains wreak havoc on your drain. A garbage disposal can help break some foods down, but you can’t just dispose of anything in your garbage disposal.  Be mindful of fibrous foods, meats and never overload the disposal.

Do not place grease, oil, and coffee grounds in a garbage disposal. These will coat your pipes and collect other debris as they move down the drain, leading to a clog. At that point, you’ll need to call in a professional for a garbage disposal repair.

To avoid this, scrape leftover foods off your plate and into the garbage can. Grease and coffee grounds should also be placed into the waste can instead of flushed down the drain.

Check Stoppers for Hair

Sometimes hair, soap, and scum linger on your drain stopper before traveling further into the pipe and forming a clog. Checking this area regularly and removing this buildup will prevent water from forcing it down the drain.

Remove the drain stopper and you will likely find a bundle of wet hair matted together with soap, skin cells, and dirt. Clean the drain stop thoroughly and scrub it with a toothbrush to eliminate this problem.

Brush or Comb Hair Before Showering

Brushing your hair naturally removes any loose hair on your head. Once you are in the shower, these hairs wash off you and go down the drain. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Until that nasty blockage develops and you are showering with water around your ankles.

When you brush your hair before showering, you can remove most of these pesky hairs before they make their way into the drain. Instead of forming a hairball, the hair will collect on the brush, making it easier to dispose of.

Schedule a Pipe Inspection

As part of your drain maintenance, be sure to schedule your yearly Diamond Club inspection every year.  The plumber will check all your drains as part of this service that is complementary to our Diamond Club members, giving your the peace of mind knowing you won’t have any major blockages in the near future.

What to Do About Clogged Drains

When you have a clogged drain, the easiest and safest way to handle it is to call a professional. They will have an arsenal of tools to use that will keep your home safe and blast away the unwanted clog.

You are probably familiar with a drain auger or snake, but that is not the only tool in their box: Hydro jetting is a hose that sends water through the pipes at high pressure to break up the clog. It is a quick and efficient tool to blast away debris, but it will also clean your drain and help prevent future clogs or damage to your pipes.

If you are experiencing a clogged drain in Snohomish County, WA, call Steve’s Plumbing today to schedule your hydro jet drain cleaning!