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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

How Not to Treat Your Bathroom Plumbing

water-running-down-a-drainDrain clogs are pretty much an inevitable and unfortunate part of homeownership. They’re even worse when they happen in one of the most used spaces in your home—the bathroom. Managing backed-up drains tends to be a fairly basic job for professional plumbers, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt it on your own.

In fact, trying to remove drain clogs on your own with the most “affordable” option there is—store-bought chemical drain cleaner—can lead to more problems than good. Unfortunately, these “solutions” are very caustic, eating away at your pipes and never actually effectively removing the clog. It may just move it around a bit for water to get through before it just clogs up again a few months later. This isn’t how you should treat your bathroom plumbing! So how should you treat it?

Don’t Be Reactive about Clogs—Be Proactive!

Are you doing the work to prevent bathroom drain clogs? It probably helps to know what the most common cause of clogs are, and how to be proactive and prevent them to begin with. Read on to learn how!

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)

This is one of the biggest problems for kitchen sink drains. FOG is leftover from your cooking, and is in liquid form when it’s hot. Therefore, it probably seems pretty logical to pour it down the kitchen sink drain. But as FOG cools down, it turns into a tough and waxy solid and it attaches to the walls of your drainpipe. It won’t take long for this buildup to cause clogs and slow down your drains.

So how can you prevent this? Rather than pouring FOG down the drain, try pouring it into a disposable container, like a tin can. Allow it to cool and harden, then throw it in the trash.


This is a big issue for shower, bathroom sink, and bathtub drains. Hair might not seem like it will create a lot of problems, but it can get stuck in the p-trap of a drainpipe—that is, the curved section of the drainpipe underneath the drain. This traps more hair, soon becoming a stubborn buildup that creates a tough blockage.

Fortunately, you can purchase drain covers and strainers pretty affordably at any hardware store or even online.

Soap Scum

This is a problem for your drains and pretty much any pipe in your home. Soap scums presents a risk for clogs, and also creates an acidic reaction to your pipe lining, and can lead to damage.

You can use a drain cover to prevent this issue. However, it’s also worth noting that soap scum buildup happens more when you have hard water, which we’ll get to below. Hard water has problems breaking down the minerals that create soap scum to start with, and it creates a lot of problems for your piping and quality of life.

Hard Water Minerals

The minerals of hard water include calcium, magnesium, and even iron. These minerals are harmless to ingest, however they will have a negative impact on your plumbing system as they buildup and create that acidic reaction when mentioned above.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance when you need an emergency plumber in Evanston, IL!

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