Ultimate Drain Clog Prevention & Clearing Guide
February 10, 2023
If you’re like most people, an unexpected drain clog is frustrating to encounter as you go about your day. Discovering that your sewer is backed up is even worse. Fortunately, you can try the following ways to remedy these situations and help prevent them from happening in the first place.
In this article, we'll go over ways you can unclog drains and provide some tips to help keep your main sewer line clean. But first, we’ll go over the common signs of a drain clog to help you identify an issue when it arises and plan your next steps.
Need Your Drain Cleared Today? Call Red Cap Plumbing & Air!
You can depend on us to fix your drain clog problem right away. We care for our customers like we do our own family. Call the Red Cap Plumbing & Air pros at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule your drain cleaning service online.
Common Signs of a Drain Clog
Clogged drains are pretty easy to spot. The primary signs that you’re dealing with one are:
- Water not properly going down the drain
- Water draining slowly
Other signs include unpleasant odors from drains, water leaking out from under the toilet, toilets bubbling, and unexplained puddles of water in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
How to Clear a Clogged Drain
Clearing a clogged drain depends on its severity and location within your plumbing system. You may even be able to remove a light clog near the surface of your bathroom sink with a pair of needle-nose pliers or even with your hands (after putting on a pair of rubber gloves, of course!).
Resist giving in to the temptation to use a coat hanger or knitting needle. Using sharper objects comes with the risk of pushing the clog farther down into the plumbing.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What about commercial drain cleaners? Are they safe to pour down your drain? Are natural solutions better?” We’ll talk more about that next.
Drain Cleaning Solutions
Natural drain cleaners made with ingredients found in any typical household cupboard can temporarily work on light clogs. You can try boiling some water and pouring it down the drain, followed by a mixture of one cup of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda. Let this sit in your drain for at least 15 minutes before rinsing with another pan of boiling water. As a bonus, this natural drain cleaning solution doesn’t contain the kind of toxic chemicals found in commercial formulas.
When a natural drain cleaning solution can’t clear your clog, we recommend hiring a highly-skilled professional plumber.
How Often Can You Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner?
You may wonder, “Is Drano safe for your drains?” Chemical drain cleaners can damage drains and aren't great for health, so most plumbers don’t recommend them. Furthermore, these chemicals can wind up in our environment once they enter your drain.
If you must have chemical drain cleaning agents in your home, ensure that you keep them under strict lock and key to keep children and pets away from them.
When Should You Hire a Professional Plumber to Clean the Drain?
A professional plumber should be called to the scene whenever a clogged drain proves resistant to removal using the natural method mentioned above. Or maybe the solution works temporarily, but the drain clog keeps recurring.
You can also schedule regular drain maintenance for clean drains. Learn more in our blog, Do I Need Drain Maintenance?
Tips to Keep Your Main Sewer Line Clean
The first tip to keeping your main sewer line clean and clear is always being mindful of what you flush down the toilet and put down the drain.
Everyday Items to Avoid Flushing Down the Toilet
Flushing the wrong things down the toilet can clog your toilet or your pipes. These objects can cause a sewer backup into your home, damage plumbing, and create blockages that release sewage into the environment.
Be particularly mindful to avoid flushing the following items:
- Baby or personal wipes
- Food of any kind
- Dental floss
- Menstrual products
- Q-tips and cotton balls
- Medication of any kind
Common Items to Avoid Putting Down Your Sinks
Homeowners often try to put various items down their sink, which can cause drain clogs. Avoid putting the following items down your sink at all costs:
- Coffee grounds
- Butter, margarine, and cooking oil
- Bacon grease
- Rice and pasta
In other words, try to keep anything that isn’t water from going down your drain.
Benefits of a Garbage Disposal
With a household garbage disposal, you’ll be able to dispose of your food scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells in an environmentally friendly manner that’s safe for your plumbing pipes. You’ll experience fewer clogged drains, and your kitchen will look and smell cleaner while saving time and producing less trash.
Call Red Cap Plumbing & Air Today if Your Drains Are Clogged.
If you have recurring clogged drains or other plumbing problems, give the reliable team at Red Cap Plumbing & Air a call. We’ll take care of you like we would our own families. That’s why we offer Family Comfort Club plans. With our routine drain maintenance plans and drain cleaning, you’ll gain peace of mind and avoid irritating clogs and expensive emergencies. Let us do the hard work for you!
Call us at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule service online today!
- Posted in: