Photo By vitalssss at istock
Cleaning and caring for your drains aren’t the most glamorous household chores, but they are very necessary. If you’ve ever experienced a clogged pipe or slowly draining plumbing, you are well-aware that caring for your drains is important. While you may be able to fix smaller clogs yourself, ensuring that all the plumbing in your home is clear and functioning correctly requires a professional drain cleaning service. There are a few things to remember when you’re caring for your drains.
Avoid Placing Certain Things In the Drain
Some things just shouldn’t be placed in your drains or flushed down the toilet. When you remember to avoid putting certain clog-contributors in your drain or down the garbage disposal, you can help reduce inconvenient back-ups. It’s important that everyone in the home understands what can go into the kitchen drain and what shouldn’t.
For example, kitchen grease, while it may seem ok to put in the drain because it’s liquid, should never go in the drain. In fact, a professional drain cleaning service will tell you that cooking oil and grease from cooked foods are one of the main causes of kitchen sink clogs. Once the grease enters your pipes, it cools and can solidify, reducing the pipes’ ability to carry wastewater from the sink. If you’re putting large amounts of food into the garbage disposal, even if it gets chopped up, the particles can adhere to the solidified grease and create clogs.
There are other things that shouldn’t go into kitchen drains, too. Banana peels, eggshells, potato or carrot skins, and coffee grounds are also common culprits for drain clogs. These kinds of food scraps can be thick and sticky, and often don’t grind very well in kitchen garbage disposals.
When you do use the garbage disposal – and remember not to put too much food into the drain – make sure that you’re using it correctly. Run a steady stream of cold – not hot – water when you’re running the disposal. The water flow helps carry the waste material through the pipes and into the municipal drainage system. Once a month, pour boiling water into the kitchen sink to melt any grease that may have accumulated.
The kitchen isn’t the only room in your home subject to clogged pipes from putting the wrong thing in the drain. The bathrooms, too, can have drainage issues. Flushing the wrong things down the toilet can cause clogs in the sewage drain and pipes. For instance, paper towels and baby wipes aren’t designed to disintegrate in water. These items retain their shape when flushed and can dam your pipes and cause a toilet overflow. Other things to avoid flushing include feminine hygiene products and condoms.
If you have small children, monitor them when they’re using the bathroom to make sure that they aren’t putting things in the toilet that they shouldn’t be. Also, some children may use too much toilet paper. While toilet tissue is intended to be flushed, too much can lead to clogged drains.
Use Screens and Traps To Prevent Clogs
Many of the drains in your house don’t have a trap, screen, or filter in place to collect chunky or large materials before they enter your home’s pipes. For example, your washing machine might clog a drain by sending fabric pieces or lint through the wastewater drain and into your pipes. You can reduce the amount of pipe-unfriendly matter getting into your plumbing by placing a trap over the drain hose. Make sure that you check your lint trap and empty it regularly to prevent back-up at the hose site.
The showers and tubs in your bathroom can also benefit from a screen or trap. These are often made of either wire or mesh and are intended to fit snugly over the drain. These traps can catch hair or soap pieces and reduce the amount that gets into your bathroom pipes. Hair clogs are the most common cause of clogs in the bathroom.
You can also place metal screens in your kitchen sink, to avoid too much food from getting into the pipes. This is especially important for homes without a garbage disposal to break up larger chunks of food.
Don’t Neglect Cleaning Your Drains
Make sure to schedule a professional drain cleaning service to flush out anything that’s accumulated in the pipes. Having regular drain cleaning helps prevent clogs from building up in your plumbing. Professional cleaning can also help control odor coming from the drains by removing food that’s stuck and may be rotting in the pipes.
Don’t forget about the drains in the bathroom, either. Hair can clog the shower drain and cause back-ups into your tub or shower stall. Place a guard over the drain to catch the hair (don’t forget to clean it), and remember to have your bathroom showers, tubs, and sinks cleaned regularly, too. Cleaning and preventative maintenance on your drains can help reduce your chances of a plumbing emergency.
Make sure to avoid certain kinds of DIY “hacks” for cleaning drains, such as forcing higher water pressure through the kitchen sink. This involves filling both sides of the sink up with water and removing the stoppers at the same time. This may damage pipes that are weakened or have faulty sealing, leading to a huge amount of damage to your house. When in doubt about how to clean drains, call the professional plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain.
Book Your Drain Cleaning Service Today
Don’t wait for an emergency clog that backs up your shower or sink to clean out your drains. Schedule regular drain cleaning service from a professional plumbing company, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. Our experienced technicians use the best tools and techniques to carefully, safely remove clogs from your household drains. Give us a call or visit us online today for a custom estimate and enjoy your home’s plumbing worry-free.