CSS Maintenance Tips – Clogged Drains

Providing easy preventative maintenance tips to your members is a great way to cut down on maintenance costs and empower your members to take responsibility for their units.

CSS Maintenance Tips are suggestions of quick tips you can pass on to your members via your website or email – just edit to meet your needs.  If you have an i4 website, just file this in your maintenance forum so members can refer back to it at any time!

Clogged Drains

To keep your drains running smoothly, and avoid high plumbing charges, please check your kitchen and tub drains once a month and avoid the use of harsh chemicals.  In the kitchen and laundry, avoid the use of powdered detergents as they can build up and harden in your drains.  Both for cleaning and dish and clothes washers, it’s a better choice to use liquids or gels.

In the kitchen, all sorts of stuff can clog your drains.  If water won’t drain in your kitchen sink at all, you’ll want to start with a plunger, followed by hot water.  Once things are flowing, pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar.  Some recommend that you plug the drains after adding the vinegar to help the pressure build up, but it works well either way.  Leave this mixture fizzing in the drain for about 10 minutes, then rinse the drain with boiling water… the more the better… leave the hot water running for at least a minute.

IMPORTANT:  If your drains are completely clogged, do not use the method above – make sure you use a plunger and hot water FIRST to get things running, baking soda and vinegar will then help clean the debris from the pipes.

If you continue to have problems with your drain, please contact Maintenance to have a plumber come take a look.

In the tub, the culprit is usually a nasty combo of soap scum and hair.  There’s not much you can do about the soap, but the soap isn’t a problem without the hair – if you have long hair, brushing before your shower can make a big difference; you could also add a mesh hair-catcher to the drain.

Once the hair is in there, it’s a yucky job to get it out, but this should be done at least once each month to prevent clogs.  Firstly, you’ll want to just grab what you can from what’s tangled in the drain itself (and/or use a plastic snake to fish the clumps out), then, once the hair has been removed, use the same baking soda and vinegar method as described above for the kitchen sink to clean the pipes of soap scum.