Drain & Sewer Guide: What You Can Do to Prevent Problems in Your Drains
When you look at a drain in your home, it seems fairly simple. You pour things down and they disappear into the ether, never to be seen again. Of course, that logic goes out the window the second the drain starts to backup or overflow. There are things you can do to avoid such problems though and most of the time, they cost nothing and take only a few minutes a week.
Simple Household Drain Maintenance
The first step to avoiding a problem is not putting anything down your drain that might cause said problem in the first place. Specifically, avoid grease, food, or other objects that might build up in your drains if not properly disposed.
Food can be broken down by a garbage disposal or, even better, placed in a compost pile. Grease, however, should never enter your sink at all. Pour all old kitchen grease into a coffee pot or bucket and dispose of it carefully. It can be thrown away in some places, or it can be recycled. Whatever you do, though, don’t pour it down the drain.
Another easy tip to keeping those drains clear is to pour a natural compound down every now and then like dishwashing liquid or baking soda and vinegar. Expensive drain cleaners are not only unnecessary – they are unsafe for the person using them and can cause damage to the pipes if you are not careful. To avoid such damage, stick with hot water based compounds and vinegar. The key is to do it preventatively.
If you wait until a full blown clog occurs, baking soda and vinegar may not get the job done and you’ll need to call a plumber who has a snake or other equipment to get the clog out.
While regular flushing of your drain with hot water and vinegar allows you to clear out the vast majority of the stuff that builds up there every week, it’s also a good idea to call a professional for annual maintenance. Such annual maintenance involves visual inspection, professional grade clearing of food and waste products and a full flush. Done properly, this will minimize the cost of future repairs and replacements and keep your plumbing running smoothly for years to come.