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The new year! An exciting time for many! Lose weight, get married, be adventurous – all great resolutions, but have you thought about avoiding clogged drains? What will you do differently this year to make sure your drains don’t get clogged. We’ve got a few suggestions. Read on to discover how to avoid clogging your drains and what to do if a clog appears.

Bathtub Clogged Drains

In order to keep your bathtub drain clean and clear, purchase a hair catcher to place in the drain slot. Most clogs are caused when hair gets trapped in the drain pipe. The hair then attracts the soap, oil, and other shower products that mix in your water. The result is a sloppy, gooey mess that impedes water flow. Purchase a drain catcher to stop the number one cog-causing agent and you’ll avoid a lot of drainage issues.

If your drain becomes clogged, you can try to solve the problem by:

Removing the blockage using a drain snake. Drain snakes can be rented at your local hardware store. They can be a bit tricky to use for new learners but should do the trick if the clog isn’t too far down the pipe.You can use a plunger to loosen the clog and wash it down the drain by using a plunger. Submerge the plunger under water – 2 inches will be enough. Then firmly press straight down and pull up being careful not to break the seal with the bathtub. Try to get a rhythm going so that the plunger can work most effectively. Chemical drainage solutions can also be used but should be a last resort. The same chemicals that break up the clog will also eat at your pipes. Try other solutions first and, if nothing works, go ahead with a chemical compound. Call a plumber If you’re resorting to this option twice a year or more; the blockage is likely getting worse and your pipes are taking the brunt of the punishment. You could end up with leaking pipes in addition to the clog.

Toilet Clogged Drains

Avoid toilet clog by throwing large items in the trash. Paper towels, baby wipes, cotton balls, q-tips, feminine hygiene products, band-aids, goldfish, and even the “flushable” toilet bowl scrubbing pads should be disposed of elsewhere. This is especially true for homes with septic tanks that can back up due to a garbage overload as well as older homes whose pipes are not held to the same regulations as current building codes mandate.

Should you encounter a toilet clog, have a plunger handy – they really are a great toilet tool. The right plunger is key. Look for a funnel-cup plunger, which is a plunger that features a flange (extra piece) off the bottom of the rubber cup.

Expert tip: run your plunger under hot water to make it softer and more pliable. This will help create a better seal and better suction – the key to unclogging the toilet. You can also try adding hot water and soap to the toilet bowl; both additives help break up the blockage.

Garbage Disposals & Clogged Drains

Avoid clogging your garbage disposal by utilizing the trashcan often. Some treat their garbage disposal like the cookie monster – throw it in, let him devour it. Unless you have a commercial kitchen with high powered disposal, chances are you’re going to clog or burn up your garbage disposal if you overwork it. Celery, potato skins, onion skins, thick fruit skins, animal bones, stale pizza crust, and pasta should all hit the trash instead of the disposal. Think of using the disposal for anything that gets stuck on your plate after you’ve wiped it off.

If you get a clog in the garbage disposal reach under the sink and unplug the machine. Once you’re sure that the disposal cannot come on, carefully look down the drain using a flashlight for extra illumination. If you see the source of the clog retrieve it using a long fork, coat hanger, or your hand. If you can’t see anything, you may have an issue with one of the flaps, a burnt motor, or jammed mechanisms. In this case, we recommend calling a plumber for a quick repair.

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