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Wipes, Pipes and Other No No’s

Author: Alex Delaney

Some of the most expensive home repairs are because of clogged plumbing. Blocked pipes are almost always a tenant’s fault and most landlords, including Compass, will charge a tenant for the repair.

To avoid extra charges, follow these basic rules:

1) Never flush baby wipes or so-called “flushable wipes” and biodegradable wipes. All three contain a form of plastic and while they can be flushed, they shouldn’t be. It goes without saying that diapers are also taboo.

2) Never pour grease into a sink. Grease solidifies in pipes, clogging pipes and sewer lines. Clogged sewers have caused basements to flood and sinks to back up with sewage, yuck! This can affect your neighbors, as well as yourself. Atlanta is facing major plumbing problems due to grease. To dispose of grease, let excess fat and grease cool, then scrape it into your trash can. Wipe the pan with a paper towel to get as much grease as possible. Tip: If you filter your oil, you can reuse it.

3) Monitor your children when in the bathroom and make sure no toys, strings, items get flushed down the toilet. Toddlers find flushing great fun. But the plumbing bill that comes from a clog is no joke!

4) Keep a sink stopper in place when not using the sink. Use a mesh stopper when using the sink to avoid having hair, soap scum and other items fall in the sink. Hair wraps around other items causing big clogs in the pipes. Soap scum is a leading cause of blocked pipes.

5) Never throw coffee grounds in the trash. Yes, coffee grounds. One of the 4 biggest culprits in kitchen sink clogs.

6) Never dispose of feminine products down the toilet. Tampons and sanitary pads belong in the trash can.  

7) Other items that are major clog culprits: Kleenex, paper towels, Q-tips, cotton balls and dental floss, none of which were made to dissolve in pipes.

Pipe clogged by wipes

Source: colorado.gov

Pipe clogged by grease

Source: arlingtonva.us

Solutions:

1) Keep a large trash can in the bathroom to encourage use.

2) Run hot water down the drain after each use.  This will help push any problems down the drain.

3) If your sink is clogged due to grease, you can save a maintenance charge by trying to remove the grease yourself.  Boil water, then mix half water, half vinegar. Pour mixture into the drain and let it stand for 15 minutes. The hot water will help melt the grease.  The vinegar will eat away what is left.

4) Throw some baking soda down the drain, then follow it with hot water.  It’s a great cleaning solution and will also help get rid of odors.

5) Throw a piece of lemon peel into your disposal and turn it on.  It will sharpen the blade and release a lovely fragrance.