Having to call your plumber every time a drain in your home gets clogged can become time consuming, frustrating, not to mention very expensive. Your drains may work right now, but clogs can happen at any time. Though plumbing codes, normal plumbing maintenance, and good drain pipe materials can keep the rate of clog formation to a minimum, most people do not have the advantage or the ability to decide what plumbing materials are to be used. No one thinks about plumbing maintenance until there is a clogged drain. Clogged drains can create severe water damage to a home’s structure (such as the wiring) and can be a potential health risk. Problems caused by a clogged drain can be avoided by taking necessary steps of drain maintenance to prevent clogs from occurring. Remember, prevention is not only easy to do, but can save you a lot of money in the long run!
Tip 1: When cleaning up after dinner, run hot water through the drain to prevent grease buildup and hard water deposits. Once every few days, to really prevent buildup in your pipes, first put in a half cup of baking soda, followed by a half cup of vinegar, and then wash it through with boiling hot water.
Tip 2: Check your bathtub stoppers every three months for hair and buildup of biofilm (a mixture of bacteria, food particles, soap residue, and body oils that hardens as layers begin to build up and lead to a clogged drain) and see if the stopper needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. Once a week, fill the bathtub half way to three-fourths full (while the stopper is in the drain) and then pull out the stopper. The weight and volume of the water will fill the pipe and will flush the drain line.
Tip 3: Have your home plumbing system regularly inspected for maintenance. As a preventative measure, once every six months, or once a year, hire a plumber or plumbing technician to snake your home’s drain lines for any buildups that can lead to a clog. For major connections, such as your septic tank or your main pipe to the sewer system, have periodic inspections. Small roots that penetrate a drain pipe can be cleaned up before it turns into a big problem. If regular inspections are not performed by a plumber, the roots can become entrenched in the drain pipe and will have to be replaced altogether.
Tip 4: Special clog prevention for kitchen sinks include: remove all kitchen waste from sink; do not pour coffee grinds down the sink; do not pour grease down the sink; and catch all food from falling down the sink
Tip 5: Most plumbers will tell you to avoid using chemical-based cleaners as clog prevention on a regular basis as they can corrode metal pipes after awhile. A natural cleaner is an enzyme/bacteria based cleaner. Once poured down a drain, it creates colonies of good bacteria that destroy bad bacteria that cause clogs in your drains. Use natural-based cleaners at night, just before every one goes to sleep – large amounts of water used after the cleaner can get rid of the good bacteria before it has had time to work.