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Tips to Preventing a Clogged Drain

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One of the most common calls we get as an experienced Maryland Plumber are those for clogged drains. The resident or property owner will usually have already tried over the counter chemicals, or maybe even removing a few pipes, but a stubborn drain often requires the work of a professional plumber. That’s where we come in.

If your drains are already clogged, there isn’t really any going back now. But in the future, these tips will come in handy to prevent clogs and backups.

Know Your Enemy

There are a couple of culprits that you never want going down your drain. Here are some examples:


Collect grease in old coffee cans or glass jars that would normally go into your trash or recycling and use them to store grease and to dispose of it in the trash. Never pour grease of any kind directly into your sink drain, even if you have a garbage disposal.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can expand slightly and will make a slight clog that much worse. Avoid putting used coffee down the sink, and if you have a garden, they make for an excellent compose pile.


Using a screen to protect your shower drain is critical for keeping hair out. Even short hair can cause clogs if too much goes into your plumbing system. We also recommend removing hair from the screen after each use to prevent clogs more efficiently.

Regular Cleaning

Taking care to regularly clean your plumbing can really do wonders. It can prevent pipe build up and odors. A few simple and easy cleaning tips for plumbing include:

Running Your Hot Water

It might seem silly but turning on your hot water after each use and letting it run for just a minute can help to remove any excess oils in food products that may have snuck down your kitchen drain.

Baking Soda

You may have heard from your grandmother, but baking soda is excellent for cleaning. Toss a few tablespoons into your drain and follow it up with some hot water. Baking soda will clean the interior of your pipes and also absorb and remove bad odors.


We’ve raided your grandmothers cleaning supplies again and this times it’s vinegar. Vinegar is also an effective drain cleaner and is a great way to remove build up in your pipes. Just pour a cup of white vinegar down your drain and let that sit for a half an hour, then follow up with warm water!

Our best advice is to not treat your garbage disposal or your commode like a trash can. Most everything that is disposal should really make it’s way into the actual trash or the compost pile. If you do have a clogged drain that you just can’t beat, contact Michael Runk plumbing in Maryland. We are available for emergency plumbing calls if needed.

What Our Customers Say

"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

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Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), Damascus (20872), and more.

Howard County: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Baltimore County: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Carroll County: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Washington, DC and Northern Virginia

Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating