Nashville TN Plumbing Advice

Fix It All Plumbing Blog

Hair In The Drain

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We love to see long, flowing hair – on people, not in our drains! Hair is the number one clogger of household drains. This is because hair fibers tangle so easily and catch on every little scrap of debris in your plumbing. Before you know it, you have slow drains, and then one day, you notice that NOTHING will get through your pipes!

What do you do? Fortunately for you, this is one of the easiest plumbing problems for you to take care of – and I don’t mean by pouring all kinds of noxious chemicals down your drains.

Step One is prevention. Make sure that you have a mesh strainer over each of your drains – particularly in your tub or shower. These can be found at any home improvement store for not very much money. And whenever you notice your shower water lapping around your ankles, you will remember to clean it out. You will be surprised how much hair comes out with every shampoo.

Some drains will not take a mesh strainer – like those in your bathroom sink. So, just make sure to wipe out any hair that may have fallen into your sink – from brushing or styling – BEFORE running water. The same goes for hair that comes from shaving. Even those short, little hairs can get caught in your pipes.

Step Two is getting the hair out. Even with mesh strainers and vigilant cleaning, some hair and other debris will get down in your drain. Hair removal is easy. You can use needle nose pliers. Also, you can purchase a very inexpensive gadget called a Zip-It. This is a long plastic wand with little protrusions that will catch hair and pull it back up out of the drain pipe. Prepare to be grossed out once you stick it down your bathroom sink pipe. Just using it once a month should keep your pipes running smoothly.

Step Three is dissolving the clog. Even if you do get a bad clog in your drain, you don’t have to use those noxious chemicals that will eventually flow out into our rivers. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and then pour ½ cup of white vinegar. Close the drain up while the baking soda and vinegar go to work. The combination forms carbon dioxide bubbles, which will effectively push the clog on down the pipes. Wait 30 minutes and then pour at least 2 quarts of boiling water down the drain to clean out the baking soda/vinegar combination.

With these hints, you might never have to call us to clear a clogged drain. But if you have more serious plumbing problems, give us a call, and we will be right over.