Sinks are wonderful for washing dishes, preparing food, and brushing teeth. You use the water you need and then let the drain carry the suds, food particles, and dirt away. But when a drain fails and wastewater begins backing up into your bathroom or kitchen, sinks can seem less than wonderful. They seem downright awful.
Of course, the sink isn’t to blame. Many factors create a sink drain failure. The good news is that most backups are preventable if you pay attention to what you send down the sink.
Your Bathroom Drain Needs Pampering
When you’re cleaning up for work, school, or a date, pay attention to what you’re doing so you keep your sink free of debris. Hair pins, nail tools, and jewelry are all potential drain cloggers. Fatty facial masks and oily hair treatments may cling to fat that’s lodged further down the waste lines.
Scalp and body hair are big drain cloggers. The hair wraps around debris and fatty chunks and make up a blob if not removed. Use mesh drain inserts if possible to catch hair before it’s sent down the waste pipes. Keep hair brushes and combs clean and free of loose hairs.
It’s smart to set up a hair brushing station if you have household members with long hair. A mirror, lights, and a vanity outfitted with a selection of brushes and styling appliances are all you need to separate your sink drain from the majority of household hair.
Your Pipes Can’t Handle the Grease
If you sometimes send the fat from fried ground beef or roast chicken down the drain, you’re not alone. Many people think, “I’ll do it just this one time. It won’t hurt.” These momentary lapses often occur when people are preparing and cleaning up for holiday meals and other high-stress entertaining occasions.
Over the years, all of the “one-time-only” grease-pouring causes fat to build up inside the pipes that lead to your septic or sewer lines. Running hot water only melts the grease close to your sink. A few feet down, fats may have coagulated to the point that only a trickle of water drains through.
If one piece of bone or vegetable peel lands on that tiny hole in the fat, your pipe will clog and won’t drain. Next, the sink may begin backing up when you attempt to flush water through the drain. Just say no to pouring grease and fat down the drain. Keep a heat-resistant can or cup near the stove to collect cooking grease and then throw the container in the trash when the grease solidifies.
Your Garbage Disposal Is Sensitive
Sink-mounted garbage disposals are revolutionary home products. They enable you to clean up your kitchen and reduce the waste that enters landfills. You can scrape food from plates, pots, and cutting boards straight into the sink instead of standing over a garbage can. All of the wet, messy food is whisked away where it doesn’t rot in trash cans or attract pests.
The garbage disposal sounds like a dream appliance, but it has a few sensitivities. Any soft, liquid food is fine for garbage disposal eradication, including soups, sauces, and creams. However, you definitely can’t get around the grease and fat issue by trying to pour these liquids into the garbage disposal. Other animal parts, like bones, should not be ground up in your disposal either.
Toss the following items in the compost heap, as they are too fibrous for the disposal and may entangle, stop, or clog the blades:
- Egg shells
- Onion skin
- Potato Peels
Most garbage disposals can handle apple, carrot, and other peels, but it’s best to feed these items in smaller batches to give the blades enough room to chop and grind properly. Coffee grounds are another waste food that you should discard in the compost bin or trash, since they can clog pipes.
Your Drains Need a Bit of TLC
Be proactive in maintaining the integrity of your sink waste drains. Once a month, stop up your sink and fill it with warm water. When you release the plug, the volume and pressure of the water entering the drain may force clogs or blockages to flow out to the septic or sewer line.
If you have issues with smells coming from pipes, pour a small bit of bleach or a green cleaner down the drain once a week. Vinegar and baking soda will bubble in the pipes and help dislodge clogs too. (Of course, check your sink manufacturer’s directions to make sure these cleaning agents won’t harm your sink or fixtures.) Also, you can pour very hot water down the drains to sanitize them, but you should be very careful when doing so.
Clean your garbage disposal with a squirt of soap and some cold water run through the blades. You can also grind up a citrus peel in the disposal to create a nice smell. Ice cubes help dislodge pesky food particles when you chop up a handful in the disposal.
Contact Rapid Rooter Plumbing today to solve your sink drainage issues. We unclog and repair backed-up and failing pipes in residences and businesses. We also install new plumbing fixtures if you’re ready for kitchen and bathroom upgrades.