With the holidays just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about drains – kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, bathtubs, toilets, etc. – in light of the likelihood that more people will be visiting (and using) your household drains. The additional use and occasional misuse could wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system. No one wants a backed-up kitchen sink when it’s time to do Thanksgiving dinner dishes!

If you’re able to maintain free-flowing drains, you’re less likely to require plumbing services. Knowing the culprits that contribute to blocked drains and practicing preventative maintenance can be a plus. If you take care of your drains, they’ll be less likely to become coated with gunk, become blocked, and cause a messy back-up or overflow.

Top Culprits of Bathroom Drain Blockage:

  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving cream
  • Hair
  • Too much toilet paper
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • “Flushable” wipes
  • Q-tips

Top Culprits of Kitchen Sink Drain Blockage:

  • Cooking oil & grease – builds up over time. NEVER pour oil or grease down the drain!
  • REMEMBER, an insinkerator IS NOT a garbage disposal!  Be selective about materials disposed of.  Leafy vegetables, celery, chunky meat and fat, and large items of any kind can be problematic – remove as much food product from the sink as you can before allowing smaller food particles into the insinkerator. 

Tips & Tricks for Keeping Your Drains in Tip-Top Shape:

Bathroom sinks & tubs that are draining slowly – (1) Pour a tablespoon of ordinary table salt into the drain; add ¼ cup white vinegar and let sit for one hour; run hot water to flush out the dislodged material; repeat. (2) Periodically, pour some bleach into the sink and let sit overnight (or at least 1 hour); run water down the drain. (3) Flush the drains with very hot water once a week to remove light residue build-up.

Kitchen sinks with grease build-up – (1) For heavy build-up, squirt 1 tablespoon (or more) of liquid dish solution into the drain; add a large pot of boiling water into the drain, a little at a time; repeat once or twice depending on how severe the grease build-up is. The dish detergent helps break up the grease and the boiling water helps flush it away. (2) For light build-up, flush drains with very hot water at least once a week. (3) When running the garbage disposal, use COLD water to keep the oil/grease solid so the disposal can break it down and flush it out to the sewer more easily. (4) Use a strainer on the drain to collect as much solid material as possible.

These techniques are important to follow especially if you are not the original owner of your home. There’s no telling what the previous owner(s) may have poured down the drains. Even if you follow these best practices guidelines, you may still experience a backup, and Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical is here to help. Our highly trained plumbing technicians are on call to help with your plumbing emergencies.

(928) 567-2200 Sedona & Verde Valley
(928) 772-2751 Prescott & Quad Cities

sink full of dirty dishes

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