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How To Prevent a Clogged Drain 
 
by Megan Sheedy June 25, 2005

Clogged drains are a common problem but rarely do they happen overnight. For weeks materials can build up causing the water to drain slower and slower. Clearing a clog can be a dirty job, so it's best to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place. There are several measures you can take to prevent this common hassle.

Preventing Clogs

If you already have not done so, you should place a strainer over the drain. This will catch most materials before they can get sucked down and possibly caught. They are much easier to clean and remove than dealing with a clog.

You should never pour anything into your drains that may harden. Avoid things such as glue, wax, or paints. You should also avoid using chemical drain cleaners whenever possible. It's better to clear a clog mechanically than to use harsh chemicals that may corrode metal pipes. If you feel the need to use a drain cleaner there are more natural versions available now that can clear the clog without causing unnecessary damage. Running a few gallons of boiling water down the drain once a month can help clear any grease or hair. As an alternative, you can add a bit of baking soda to the boiling water.

If you have pop-up stoppers, you should remove them and rinse them off every few weeks to keep them clear of any materials that may slow down draining water. Hair is a common culprit when it comes to tub and shower clogs. Every few months it's also a good idea to remove your overflow plate, pull up the pop-up assembly to reach the spring/rocker arm, and clear any accumulated materials.

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