How many times have you had to unclog the drain for one reason or another? It’s a common occurrence, but there are ways to avoid it. Pulliam Plumbing has responded to several different clogs over the years, so we’ve pretty much seen it all. At times, some drain clogs do catch us off guard and surprise us, but mainly we find it is everyday items (like hair, toys, etc.) that accidentally get caught in sinks, tub/shower drains, and toilets. Here are six of the most common things that shouldn’t go down your drain.
- Hair: Hair is one of the biggest culprits of a clogged drain, and every day, humans shed hair. When we shower, washing our hair, the strands travel along the same path as the water down the drain. Longer hair will clog up the drain faster, but even short hair can do its fair share of damage. The best solution is to have a hair catcher in the drain to grab as much hair as possible. clogged drain
- Grease: Oil and grease are dense liquids, and if there is fat in the grease, it will become solid when it’s cooled. This can quickly clog up your drain, causing a headache down the road. Instead, let the grease or oil cool down and solidify, if possible. After that, throw it in the trash.
wet wipe being held over the toilet
- Mineral Buildup: Do you have watermarks or stains in your sink or tub? Depending on where your water supply is coming from, such as city water, you might have to worry about minerals in your water. Some would include calcium, brass, copper, and magnesium. These minerals can be extremely damaging to the plumbing, forcing you to repair or replace piping much sooner than you need to. Installing a water softener will reduce the number of minerals flowing through your pipes.
- Wipes & Diapers: Several flushable wipes on the market can break down similar to toilet paper. Unfortunately, not all brands of wipes are created equal. Baby wipes and diapers cannot be flushed, despite their use. They do not break down the same as a flushable wipe does and will cause a clog. It’s the same with cosmetic wipes. If it doesn’t specifically say that it’s flushable, throw them away. If a wipe or diaper is flushed down the toilet, you’ll have to call a plumber to get it unclogged.
- Toys: Kids are little scientists, working through the mechanics of each object they hold. A clean toilet flushing is fascinating to watch because of how the water swirls. Curious children want to see how their favorite toys move around in the water. Unfortunately, they don’t fully understand that flushing an object could damage the plumbing and the toy. You’re probably going to have to call in a professional plumber to retrieve the toy.
- Food: Unless you have a garbage disposal, you should avoid putting food down the drain. There’s always going to be some particles that slip down from dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, but bigger pieces should go in the trash. Certain foods like fruit peels, eggshells, potatoes, cereal, etc. do not break down easily. Not only will they clog the drain, but as they get older, you might notice an unappealing smell coming from your sink.