Unfortunately, plumbing clogs in the bathroom are a fact of life. No matter what you do you will always have to contend with them. Understanding how clogs develop can help you take preventative steps to minimize the number and severity of clogs in the bathroom.
Typically there are three areas in your bathroom that are prone to clogs: the shower and tub, toilet, and sink.
The most common problem with shower drains is hair. Every time you wash your hair you are losing hair that can slip down the drain. The hair snags on any parts, fixtures, or rough spots in the drain assembly and pipes. Another culprit for shower clogs is soap and shampoo. Soap scum builds up on walls and combines with the hair to make a tough clog.
Perhaps the most common cause of a toilet clog is too much toilet paper. Cutting down on the amount used will help eliminate clogs. Plumbers indicate that the other most common problem in a toilet is foreign objects, especially small toys. Toilets were only designed to handle human waste and dissolvable tissue paper. Never put things in the toilet such as tampon applicators, Q-tips, cotton balls, baby wipes, hard objects, or grease.
Just like the shower the most common problem in bathroom sinks is hair. When the hair slips down the drain it often catches on the stopper and pop-up assembly. If it makes it past that spot it can accumulate in the p-trap.
When clogs are beginning to form they naturally slow the flow of water down the drain. The water will drain slower and slower until it stops all together. Many times you will then need a plumbing company to come and clear the drain. You can take care of these clogs long before that happens with the following suggestions:
The plunger should be the most useful tool for unclogging drains. It works well for sinks and floor drains as well as toilets.
Once a week pour three to four gallons of extremely hot water down your sink and shower drains. The hot water helps dissolve soap scum and grime so that it can wash down the pipes.
In the shower take the drain cover off and fish out the hair with a stiff wire that has a hook on the end. In the sink remove the pop-up assembly and the p-trap to remove hair and scum.
For tougher clogs use a drain snake or auger. If you don't have one, or if this still doesn't work, give Roto-Rooter a call to come and help.
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