Clogged Drain – Tips to Keep Your Drains Clear

I learned the hard way this year about all the things I did wrong that resulted in our super clogged drain.  Here is what you should do to avoid making the same mistake.

  1. Use a lot of water. Yes even though we are conserving water at the moment, there is a time to use it liberally.  Here’s why.  Many sinks like ours have the drain pipe running transversely with a gentle slope, along the back of the cabinets for quite a ways before it ties into the vertical main drain line.  Island sinks and sinks that have been moved during a renovation are especially susceptible to this type of rough in.  If you are like I used to be, you probably rinse the crumbs down the sink and then turn the water off.  I never used to think about running the water for just a little bit longer to wash those crumbs all the way along the transverse lie to the vertical stack; I just stopped when the sink was clean.  This method leads to a build up of crumbs and debris along the pipe because there was never quite enough water to wash them away.  The tip is to use enough water to rinse to the main stack.
  1. If you have a garburator run it for longer than you think you need to. I used to think that as soon as the chunky sound of the blades ripping through the debris sounded smooth again, that the job was done.  It’s not.  Like a blender there are the big chunks broken down over and over again until the result is slurry that washes down the pipes (again with a LOT of water). If you just do the brief on/off, you actually end up sending chunks down the pipe instead of a slurry.  You can also end up leaving unmasticated food in the garburator, which can smell.
  1. Do not use hot water to wash grease down the sink. If it is already solid, put it in the compost.  Hot water will liquefy grease until it cools and then it turns into chunks again.  Those chunks can cause clogs.

Now if you are just reading this out of interest, GREAT!  However, if it is unfortunately from a clogged drain, read the next blog on what to do before you call R&B.


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