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Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Blockages

Plumber unclogging a tub drain with an electric auger.Perhaps the most common call that any Lutz, FL plumber gets is in regards to plumbing clogs. The homeowner might have tried to relieve the issue with chemical drain cleaners, only to discover that the issue came back full force, or was never resolved in the first place.

The first thing you should know about treating plumbing blockages is that using store-bought drain cleaner can actually do more harm than good to your plumbing system. This is because the chemicals in these cleaners are corrosive and eat away at your pipes. It’s important to rely on professional plumbers when it comes to any service on your plumbing system.

The Professional Difference

The first tip we’re going to share with you in regards to avoiding and treating plumbing blockages is—call a professional! We have access to specialized tools that will adequately resolve whatever your plumbing issue is. We also recommend scheduling regular plumbing maintenance with our team so that your system can be checked annually for any looming threats. Other than calling in a pro, though, what are some other ways you can avoid plumbing blockages in the various parts of your home?

The Bathroom

Bathroom sinks and shower drains are prone to hair buildup. Hair easily gets trapped in the sludge that lines your pipes, and can also be found in the curved pipe section below your sink, referred to as the p-trap. Eventually, it can create a thick blockage which becomes very hard for plungers to break through.

We may need to use a special drain snaking tool to relieve the clog. The best way to avoid this is by using drain covers in both your shower and your sink, and removing hair right after each shower or after styling your hair over the bathroom sink.

Soap scum is another common bathroom issue. This can be caused, of course, by soap—but it’s more than that. If you have hard water (excessive amounts of magnesium and calcium in your water supply) it makes it hard for soap scum to dissolve on its own, and therefore creates clogs. The best way to avoid this from the start is to have a water softener professionally installed.

The Kitchen

The number one biggest threat to your kitchen sink is FOG. We’re talking about Fats, Oils, and Grease. The problem with FOG is that it hardens as it cools. This means that if you pour it down your drain when it’s still in liquid form, it solidifies within the pipes, creating a clog. The best way to avoid this issue is by not putting FOG down the drain to begin with.

Instead, you can pour it into a tin can or another disposable container, and throw it away in the trash once it cools and hardens. Rice and pasta are also no-no’s to put down your kitchen sink drain. The problem with those is that they expand with water, so naturally they can create stubborn clogs too.

While this doesn’t impact your drains, our final tip is to watch what you put in the garbage disposal. If your garbage disposal gets clogged up, it certainly will stop up everything else in your kitchen when you’re in the middle of cooking a meal and cleaning. Items that should never be put in the garbage disposal include fibrous vegetables (such as celery), potato skins, and eggshells.

For more great tips and quality plumbing services throughout the greater Tampa area, you needn’t look any further than IERNA’s Heating & Cooling. Contact us today!

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