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13 Things You Should Never Put Down The Drain

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clogged drain

Prevent Clogs & Costly Repairs By Keeping Your Drains Clear

At some point or another, nearly everyone has been guilty of washing something down the sink that probably didn’t belong there. Imagine washing dishes and seeing a few scraps of food on a plate - do you toss them away or let the rushing water carry them down the drain? While it’s easier and quicker to simply wash things down the sink, you may end up with a clogged drain.

Homeowners in Bluffton, SC should always take note of what should and should not be flushed down the drain to protect their plumbing. Clogged drains caused by food and other foreign materials are completely preventable, and R.S. Andrews is here to help!

How Do You Know If A Drain Is Clogged?

When it comes to determining whether or not there is an issue with your plumbing, you should be able to see it without any difficulty. Water draining slowly is a sign of a drain clog forming; water not draining at all is a sign that the drain is completely clogged. In either case, the drain should be cleared as soon as possible to avoid damage to the pipes.

By the time a clog becomes noticeable, though, the issue has likely been building up for weeks, months or even years. Whether you notice or not, drainpipes are always collecting debris and small materials that accumulate to the point of clogging over time. Keeping your drains properly maintained and routinely cleaned will help prevent buildup and clogs. 

It’s important to remember that your home's drain and plumbing systems are intended to handle liquids. However, most homeowners use the drains to dispose of liquids, solids and everything in between. Flushing domestic waste down the drain has become a habit of most individuals, but it’s one that will eventually come back to haunt the plumbing system. The quickest solution to preventing clogged drains is to educate yourself on best practices and exercise caution around your sink. 

What Type Of Food Shouldn’t Go Down The Drain?

Ideally, no food at all should go down the drain and pipes to avoid buildup and clogging. When possible, food scraps should be properly disposed of, not flushed down with water. There are some foods that should absolutely never go down the drain, including: 

  • Coffee Grounds: Despite their tiny size, coffee grounds have the potential to clog up your pipes. They tend to worsen blockages that are already present.
  • Meat Trimmings: The fatty nature of trimmings can cause a grease clog in your kitchen sink if washed down the drain. 
  • Rice & Pasta: Water expands while cooking grains such as rice and pasta and just a few grains can expand and form a clogged drainpipe.
  • Flour Paste: Water and flour mix to create a sticky, pasty glue-like product that can stick to the insides of plumbing and cause blockages.
  • Fibrous Vegetables: Fibers from celery, asparagus, artichokes and corn husks easily tangle and get trapped in drains, causing clogs.
  • Potato Peels: Like flour and water, potato peels can form a starchy paste when combined with water that easily sticks to pipes.
  • Fats & Oil: When subjected to cold water, fats, oils and grease harden and become trapped in drainpipes.

Non-Food Items To Avoid Sending Down The Drain

While sink clogs are usually caused by food, other drains throughout your home can become clogged by other foreign objects. Homeowners should always be cautious with non-food items around drains, especially the following: 

  • Product Labels: The sticky nature of labels can easily cause clogging when washed down the drain. Even remnants of labels can cling to garbage disposal blades, rendering them useless.
  • Eggshells & Seafood Shells: Although your garbage disposal can crush eggshells or seafood shells into pieces, these particles tend to adhere to the inside walls of your pipes, which may lead to clogs. These scraps can either be disposed of in the garbage or composted.
  • Medications: A common practice is to dispose of unneeded medical pills down the toilet or sink drain, but this can make the water drain slower and disperse hazardous chemicals. 
  • Animal Bones: Poultry, beef, or pig bones are too thick for drainpipes and are best disposed of in a garbage can.  
  • Paint Fluid: Disposing of paint down drains can cause serious damage to your plumbing and present a threat to the environment. Any unused paint should be properly disposed of in accordance with the laws in your area.  
  • Fruit Seeds & Pits: Never dispose of seeds in a drain, as they can quickly collect and cause a blockage. Large pits should never be washed down the drain or to the garbage disposal, as blades can become damaged trying to break down the material.  

Dangers Of A Clogged Drain

Anyone who has ever experienced a clogged drain knows that it's not enjoyable. Clogged drains can cause various problems, including:

  • Slow Draining: Washing your hands and doing dishes will leave you with standing water if the drain is clogged.
  • Leaks: The longer water can remain stagnant in your drains, the greater the likelihood that a leak may develop and cause further damage.
  • Disgusting Smells: Built-up material causing the clog can cause bad odors in and around the drain.
  • Water Backup: Clogged drains can cause water back up to the sink, leading to a breeding spot for germs.

The Best Ways To Clear A Clogged Drain

Clogged drains are annoying and unpleasant, and no one likes to deal with them. Even if you spend hours diagnosing the issue and attempting to solve it yourself, you'll still be left with a blocked drain. 

If you have a clogged kitchen or bathroom drain, R.S. Andrews is here to help! Our expert plumbing team is top-rated in and around Bluffton, SC and can’t wait to serve you. It’s important to trust a professional for plumbing issues to prevent damage to your home’s system and costly repairs. When you need plumbing services you can trust, give us a call at 843-706-5090 !

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