Putting the wrong items down the drain can ruin your home plumbing. You need to be careful about what goes into your sink, your shower, your bathtub and your toilet if you want your entire system to run smoothly. Here are three of the many things you shouldn’t put down the drain if you want to avoid clogs and other kinds of plumbing trouble:
One of the worst clogging culprits is hair. Strands that make their way down drains form strong, matted clumps that act like nets, catching debris and collecting soap scum. Bathtub, shower and sink drains are especially vulnerable to these stubborn, unpleasant blockages.
If you want to prevent a clogged shower drain, you should get a drain catcher to trap any strands before they slide down. If you notice water pooling around your ankles during a shower or draining slowly after a bath, it may be too late. You should read this to learn more about the warning signs that you’re dealing with a bad clog and your drain needs professional maintenance.
A simple plunger won’t do the trick for this type of obstruction. You will need to call a plumber to snake the drain.
Fat, Oil and Grease
Whether it’s the run-off from your tasty morning plate of bacon or an olive oil salad dressing that has gone rancid, fat has a way of sticking around in your drain to create hardened build-up that can be difficult to remove.
You should learn how to dispose of fat properly instead of pouring it down the drain with the dirty dishwater. Put all fats in the compost bin with other organic ingredients. If the oil or grease is hot, let it cool in a pan and wipe it off with a paper towel. Whatever you do, don’t empty the hot liquid into your sink.
Grease doesn’t just damage your home’s plumbing system — it affects the municipal water treatment system, too. Flushing it down the drain will cause expensive sewer problems like blockages and back-ups. Keep the ingredient out of your pipes for your own sake, and for the sake of your community.
Some of the everyday ingredients you shouldn’t put down your drains are starchy foods like pasta, rice and potatoes. These foods get pasty and sticky when they are exposed to water, which increases the likelihood that they will create problems down the road by gumming up drain pipes and inhibiting the flow of water. To keep them out of the plumbing, use a drain catcher when rinsing off dishes and toss the contents into the compost bin.
There are plenty of ways to clear out a drain clog. You can try to use a plunger or a hot water rinse to loosen build-up. You can hire a professional plumber to use a drain snake, a roto-rooter, a water jet or a long-term maintenance program to get the job done. But, you can avoid all of this trouble if you take care of your drains and keep all of the wrong items out of them.