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Tips For Diagnosing, Fixing, And Preventing The Most Common Pipe Clogs

Clogs can occur in any part of your home that involves waste material traveling down a pipe or incoming water coming inside. Causes for clogs vary but the end result is usually a lack of function of your sink, toilet, or sewer line and the potential for a messy backup.

There are a few tips for diagnosing, fixing, and preventing the most common plumbing clogs found around a home.

Kitchen Clogs

Clogs in the kitchen sink can result from stuck food waste, dish soap buildup, or solidified grease in the pipes.

A plunger can often loosen up food waste clogs so that the debris pushes down the pipes. You can also try to clear a food or soap clog using a combination of baking powder and vinegar. The two form a chemical reaction that causes forceful bubbling that can shove the clog down the pipes.

If grease buildup is the problem or the clog has moved further down your lines, you might need to call a plumber for assistance.

You can prevent future clogs by throwing large food waste into the trash rather than the drain. Save cooking grease in an empty coffee tin until it solidifies then throw that into the trash, as well.

Bathroom Clogs

The most common clog culprits in the bathroom are the sink and tub drains and the toilet.

Sink drain clogs usually happen due to a buildup of soap scum or toothpaste down in the pipe. If your sink suddenly stops draining as well, there's likely a clog forming. Luckily, you can usually clear up the clog with the use of a plunger. Cut down on future clogs by running hot water for a couple of minutes after washing down soap or toothpaste.

Tub drain clogs usually come from a combination of soap scum and a ball of hair. Take action as soon as your drainage seems to slow down so that the clog isn't too difficult to remove. Mild clogs can be removed using a plastic, notched drain cleaner tool available cheaply at most hardware stores. The notches or teeth on the tool hook onto the hair and pull the ball upwards and clear of your drain. Severe clogs might require the use of a snake, also available at a hardware store, or a plumber and industrial chemicals.

Toilet clogs can often be cleared up using a plumber. If plunging doesn't work, try using a snake. If the clog still doesn't clear, the clog is further down your pipes and you might need the assistance of a plumber.

Sewer Clogs

Clogging materials flushed down the toilet can sometimes form clogs in your sewer pipes and cause a potential messy and hazardous sewage backup.

Leave removing an sewer clogs up to a professional plumber or sewer repair person. You don't want to expose yourself to waste material and sewer gases if you don't know what you are doing.

Cut down on future sewer clogs by watching what you flush down the toilet. Don't flush baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, or any other material that isn't waste or toilet paper. Wipes and hygiene may claim to be flushable but the products don't break down in water the way toilet paper does and can easily cause a sewer clog. For more information, contact a professional like RK Knight Plumbing.