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How To Prevent Drain Clogs

Drains are the unsung heroes of our homes, dutifully carrying away waste and wastewater without complaint. Yet, we often take them for granted until an unpleasant odor wafts through our space or a stubborn clog disrupts our daily routines. 

Maintaining clean and odor-free drains is crucial not only for our comfort but also for the overall hygiene and functionality of our living spaces. In the vibrant community of Rockingham, where homes are the heart of daily life, understanding the dos and don’ts of drain care can save you from unnecessary inconveniences and hefty repair bills.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into each aspect of drain care and maintenance, equipping you with the knowledge to tackle common challenges and ensure the longevity of your plumbing system. From identifying the culprits behind clogs to implementing proactive measures and recognizing the signs that call for professional plumber help, you’ll find everything you need to keep your drains flowing smoothly in Rockingham’s vibrant community.

What to put down drain for smell?

Having a clogged drain can be frustrating. You probably want your pipes to be flowing freely, and you want them to stay that way for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, there are lots of things that are bad for your drains—things that can clog them up or even damage them. Here are some worst culprits:

Cooking Grease and Oil

Can you put oil down the drain? Can you put olive oil down the drain? No. Your kitchen sink is the one place in your home where you should never pour cooking grease down. Why can’t you put grease down the drain? Grease can build up in pipes and cause a backup, which isn’t fun to clean up.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are another thing that should not go down your drain. Like grease, they can clog up your pipes, creating problems for you and your plumbing system. If you’re looking for an alternative way to dispose of coffee grounds, consider composting them instead or putting them in the trash bin.


Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, which is a type of stone. This means they don’t dissolve in water and can clog pipes as they go down your drain. They can also damage your pipes if they’re not cleaned out properly.

Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta are made up of starch (a form of carbohydrates), which attracts fat, grease, and other debris from your sink when you rinse them down the drain. The starch gets stuck in the pipes and causes clogs when it builds up over time.

Fibrous Vegetables 

Can you put vegetable oil down the drain? While your veggies are good for you, they’re not so great for your pipes. Fibrous vegetables like celery and carrots can clog your pipes and cause major problems with your plumbing system. 

Paper Products

Paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins contain oils used to make them soft and absorbent that won’t wash off easily. They’ll also attract dirt and other particles that will clog your pipes over time.

Wipes and Feminine Hygiene Products

They’re not just bad for your pipes—they’re bad for the environment too. Plus, if they get stuck in your pipes or drainage system, they can cause clogs and blockages! They’ll also start to smell really gross quickly.


If you have leftover prescription drugs, place them in a sealable container and throw them away. Flushing medications can cause harm to the environment, so it’s best not to put them down the drain or toilet at all!

Paint and Chemicals

Chemicals can stick to the sides of your pipes and cause corrosion, which can lead to clogs. Paints and stains also contain chemicals that can stain your pipes, which will make them more susceptible to clogs. 

Bones & Fruit Pits

Bones and fruit pits are both things that you should never put down the drain because they will cause blockages in your pipes which could cause damage to them over time if left unchecked for too long!

Cat Litter and Bones

These items should never go down your drain either because they can get stuck in the pipes and cause blockages that are expensive to fix or even cause sewage backups in your home. Not to mention it smells bad too! 


Hair that gets flushed down a drain can cause a blockage in your pipes. It also clogs the pipes, leading to expensive repairs and expensive plumbing bills.

Dental Floss

Dental floss contains plastic, which causes it to break down into tiny pieces. These pieces get stuck in the pipes and cause blockages. Dental floss also prevents other items from being able to pass through your plumbing system, causing more problems for you!

Grease-Saturated Food

Fats and oils do not dissolve in water, so they will stick together and form a hard mass that sticks inside your pipes. This can lead to serious damage or even total failure of your plumbing system!

Jewelry and Small Objects

Putting jewelry and small objects down your drain is never a good idea. These items can easily get caught in the inner workings of your pipes, causing them to break or jam. If you’re not careful, this could lead to more serious problems, such as water damage or flooding in your home.

15 Ways to Prevent Drain Clogs

Drain clogs are the worst.

Whether you’re trying to wash a load of clothes or take a quick shower, you’re left with a tub full of water, a sink full of dishes, and no way to get rid of them. It’s enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel (and towel).

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent drain clogs from occurring in the first place. We’ve put together this list of 15 ways to keep your drains clear so that you don’t have to spend hours on end trying to unclog them later on down the road.

Use Drain Catchers

A simple drain catcher will prevent clogs from forming. A drain catcher is a small tub that sits in the sink and catches food particles, hair, and other debris that would otherwise end up in the pipes. You can find them at most hardware stores or online. They are very affordable and easy to install—just place them under your sinks and be on your way!

Dispose of Cooking Grease Properly

Cooking grease can quickly build up in your drains, causing a clog to form. To prevent this from happening, you should always dispose of cooking grease properly by pouring it down the drain with hot water running while you’re cleaning up after dinner. This helps break down the grease and prevent it from building up on your pipes over time!

Avoid Coffee Grounds 

Coffee grounds are another common cause of drain clogs, so make sure to dispose of them properly—don’t dump them down your sink! Instead, put them in an airtight container and throw them away with the rest of your trash. It may seem like a hassle now, but it will help you save a lot of trouble later.

Scrape Plates Before Rinsing

Rinsing food particles down the drain is a no-no, as they can clog up your pipes and cause backups. Instead, scrape off excess food particles with a spatula or other utensil before rinsing your plates down the drain.

Run Hot Water

Hot water can help loosen up and break up clogs before they happen. If you have a slow drain, run warm or hot water down it for about 5 minutes to see if that helps.

Regular Cleaning

You may think that regular cleaning isn’t necessary because you don’t see any debris in your drain, but if you skip out on this task, you may end up with a backup when something gets stuck in there later on. A simple plunger is all it takes!

Flush with Cold Water

Never use hot water when you’re washing dishes or brushing your teeth—it can cause build-up and clogs over time. Instead, use cold water in order to clear out any debris that might be stuck inside your pipes before it has a chance to build up and cause problems down the line.

Monthly Maintenance

A little bit of maintenance goes a long way to keep your drains free from gunk and grime. Run some hot water down the drain along with commercial drain cleaners or enzymatic cleaners every month for about 10 minutes, then run cold water for about 30 seconds afterward. This will clear out any build-up in the pipes and prevent drain clogs from forming in the future.

Avoid Hair Buildup

If you have long hair, try not to let it fall into the sink when showering or bathing. This can cause clogs in your drains. If you notice that your drain is clogged because of hair, try using a drain cleaner (like Drano) to clear it out.

Mindful Toilet Use

Don’t flush anything that isn’t toilet paper or human waste. This includes wipes, feminine hygiene products, baby diapers, and more. Anything other than those items should go in the trash can instead of down the toilet!

Use Toilet Paper Wisely.

This is one of the most common causes of clogs in toilets and drains. Toilet paper doesn’t break down like other types of paper, so it can easily clog up your sink or toilet. Instead of stuffing that tissue into your pipes, try using wipes or baby wipes instead!

Dispose of Chemicals Safely.

Chemicals like grease and cooking oil should never go down the drain—they can coat your pipes and lead to serious blockages over time. Instead, dispose of these substances in an environmentally friendly way by pouring them into an old milk jug with some dish soap on top (soapy water will help break down grease). Then seal it up tightly with plastic wrap before throwing it in the trash bin outside for collection later on!

Educate Household Members

The best way to prevent drain clogs is to ensure everyone in your household knows how to care for their drains properly. This includes cleaning out the garbage disposal regularly and not pouring grease down the drain. It also means checking the pipe connections under sinks and toilets regularly to ensure they’re tight and secure.

Regularly Inspect Outdoor Drains

It can be easy to forget about the drains outside of your home, but it’s important not to let them go unchecked. Outdoor drains are especially susceptible to clogs because they’re exposed to so much water on a daily basis—from rainstorms, lawn watering, and more. If you don’t keep up with regular inspections of these areas, you could end up with a major problem!

Professional Inspections

Most experts agree that regular drain inspections are the best way to detect and prevent clogs. A professional plumber in Rockingham can use a variety of tools to check for issues, including water pressure testing, camera inspection, or even video inspection. These methods help you identify potential problems and ensure they don’t turn into major issues.

When to Drain Clog Cleaning and Repair Professionals in Rockingham

If you’ve been experiencing drain clogs in your Rockingham home, you know how inconvenient and frustrating it can be. You don’t have to deal with this problem any longer!

R.C. Gochenour & Son Plumbing LLC is here for you. We offer drain clog cleaning and repair services for all types of residential homes in Rockingham, NC, and the surrounding areas, including Smithfield, Goldsboro, and Wilson. Our professional team has been servicing this area for many years, and we have a reputation for providing quality service at competitive prices.

We offer a range of plumbing services, including:

  • Drain Clog Cleaning
  • Tankless Water Heaters
  • Water Heater Repair
  • Drain Cleaning
  • Sump Pump Installation/Repair 
  • Sewer Line Repair and Replacement
  • Fixture installation and repair

The best thing? Our plumbers are licensed, bonded, and insured and are available 24/7 to handle any clog or leak, regardless of how big or small it is. We’ve seen it all—from leaks in your pipes to clogs in your toilets—and we can easily handle any problem (and without wasting your time).

We’re here for you, so give us a call today at 540 271 3393 for Drain Clog Cleaning and Repair in Rockingham!

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Harrisonburg plumber, plumber Harrisonburg, Shenandoah plumber, Massanetta Springs plumber, Bridgewater plumber

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Rockingham County

R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC is proud to serve the plumbing needs of Harrisonburg and surrounding areas, including communities in Page County and Rockingham County.

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