Quiz: Can you flush baby wipes down the drain? Some people might be surprised to hear that, no, you should not be flushing wipes down the drain, and that disregarding this information can cause severe drain problems.

You might be shocked by some of the thing’s businesses and homeowners put down their drains (like diapers?!) … but you might also be surprised that you’re putting things down your drain that you shouldn’t be.

As a female homeowner with next to no plumbing knowledge, I’d like to assume I’m not the only mostly plumbing illiterate homeowner out there. If you’re anything like me, you might need to know why your drain is clogged, how to fix it, and how to prevent further clogs.

What’s Up with My Clogged Drain?

Cause: Lots of things can cause your drain to be clogged, but the most common cause of clogs causing backups is putting things down your drain that don’t belong there. For example, in the bathroom, things like diapers, tampons, paper towels, and “flushable” wipes shouldn’t be flushed.

Even though it says on some of those packages that you can, you should never flush them because they can cause your drain to clog, no matter what the packaging says.

Another common culprit in the bathroom is (everyone’s favorite thing to clean from a drain): hair. Most of the world’s population has hair on their bodies. That’s okay. Long hair doesn’t care. Unfortunately, though, that beautiful mane can wreak havoc on your drain.

In the kitchen, putting food down a drain without garbage disposal can cause significant damage and prevent water from being able to flow through the drain. Putting grease down your drain is a thing that you should not be doing.

How to fix: When you have a clogged drain, it can make it difficult for your toilet to flush or cause water to drain slowly from your sinks. A professional plumber should be hired to snake the drain. A snake is a cable that a plumber feeds down a pipe to break up the blockage. This can usually clear a drain pretty easily, but sometimes the problem is more severe and will require a plumber to open up the drain to clear debris.

Prevention: An easy way to prevent large clogs is to use a mesh drain cover to keep large debris from entering your pipes and causing a backup. It can also help to have your drains cleaned routinely by a professional to prevent unwanted damage to your pipes and sewer.

Why you should have it fixed: Not only is it annoying to have a slow-running drain, but things like cleaners also containing chemicals, some soaps, grease, and hair products clogging a drain can pose several health risks. Over time, any of these things will cause damage to your drain, but with routine maintenance and taking the steps outlined above, you can prevent a headache and a wallet ache.

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