No one’s going to argue with us on this one:  the best plumbing repair is prevention. Which means you can avoid all kinds of plumbing repair bills by taking some simple precautions at home and by learning how to resolve simple plumbing issues on your own.

Today our focus is on solving and preventing clogged drain problems.

If your clog is in your kitchen sink, plunging it normally works on its own at least 50% of the time.  If the clog is more persistent, pour a half cup each of baking soda and white distilled vinegar down the drain and let it sit for a half hour.  Thirty minutes later, flush that solution with a pan of boiling hot water.  If the clog is stubborn enough, you might need to repeat the process.  Another word to the wise:  never plunger a sink or toilet after pouring a chemical-based drain solution into it – if you do, you risk injury to yourself and anyone standing beside you.

If it’s your bathroom sink or shower drain that’s clogged, no doubt the clog has been formed by some combination of hair, shampoo run-off, and the like.  It’s for times like this you want to keep a wire coat hanger handy.  Open or unwind the hanger so you have one long wire, then make a very small hook at the end with a pair of pliers. You will be surprised at the size of the hair ball you’ll be able to fish out of your shower drain – and, voila, the problem is solved! 

How to Prevent Clogged Drain Problems.

Here are a few surefire tips:

  1. Pour cooking grease into used cans. Grease is highly detrimental to your pipes because it settles along their sides and acts as a trap for discarded food bits. In time, the accumulation of particles causes the drain to clog.
  1. If your plumbing is equipped with a garbage disposal, be sure to run plenty of cold water while you’re grinding food scraps to move them through your pipes. If you don’t run enough water, the food can become stuck to the sides of the pipes and turn into a clog.
  1. At least once a month, boil a tea kettle of water and pour it down every sink in your house. Use one kettle for each sink to dislodge grease or soap.
  1. Once a week, remove all sink stoppers and pop-up stoppers and wash and rinse them thoroughly. Stoppers are prime places for loose hair to get stuck and clog the drain.
  1. Make it a habit to flush only products marked “flushable” down the toilet. Never flush large or heavy-duty paper products, baby wipes, cigarette butts – in fact, make it a rule to flush nothing but toilet paper and nature’s business.
  1. Install strainers over all kitchen and bathroom drains to prevent hair, soap and food bits from getting into the pipes and clogging the drains. Just be sure to keep the strainers clean

When to Call a Professional Plumber.

That’s easy – the time to call a professional is when your best curative or preventive measures haven’t produced the desired outcome.  Well, no matter what the plumbing or drain problem might be, you can always count on prompt and dependable assistance from Burton in Omaha.  Contact us now or anytime the need arises.