Drains are one of the most important parts of your plumbing system. They are responsible for carrying away waste water and keeping your home clean and free of harmful bacteria. However, dealing with clogged drains is one of the most common household problems.
Nobody wants to experience a backed-up sink or toilet, but gunk and debris can build up and cause drains to become slow or clogged. If this happens, it’s often necessary to call a professional plumber for help. But before you reach for the phone, there are some things you can do yourself to try to clear the clog and prevent future problems. Here are twelve tips that can help prevent a need for drain repairs.
1. Use a Drain Cover
One of the best ways to prevent expensive drain repairs is to use a drain cover. These covers fit over the drain and catch hair, soap scum, and other debris before it has a chance to clog the pipe. A drain cover helps to keep debris and sediment from entering your drains, which can cause clogs and backups.
In addition, a drain cover can also help keep small animals like rodents and birds from gaining access to your drains. By using a drain cover, you can help to extend the life of your drains and avoid costly repairs.
2. Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain
Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems. They can be caused by various things, but one of the main culprits is grease. Over time, grease that you pour down the sink can build up on the sides of your drain and cause a blockage.
3. Use a Plunger
If you have a clogged drain, one of the first things you should do is try to clear it with a plunger. This is a simple and effective way to dislodge most clogs. Place a plunger over the drain and push and pull the handle.
If the plunger doesn’t seem to be working, you may need to use a plunger with a flanged end. This type of plunger has an extra rubber ring that forms a seal around the drain, which can help create more suction and power to clear the clog.
4. Try a Drain Snake
If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, you may need to use a drain snake. A drain snake is a long, flexible coil that you insert into the drain, and it can help dislodge stubborn clogs.
To use a drain snake, insert the coils into the drain and twist it until you feel resistance. Once you feel resistance, continue twisting and pushing the drain snake until you break through the clog.
5. Use Boiling Water
One of the simplest ways to clear a clogged drain is to pour a pot of boiling water down it. The hot water can help melt away any grease and soap scum that may be causing the blockage.
Pouring boiling water down your drain is a quick and easy way to clear most clogs. However, you should never use boiling water if your drain is made of plastic or if standing water is in the sink, as this could cause the pipes to break.
6. Don’t Flush Feminine Hygiene Products
Feminine hygiene products, like tampons and pads, should never be flushed down the toilet. These products can cause clogs and backups in your plumbing system. If you have a feminine hygiene product that needs to be disposed of, wrap it in toilet paper or a plastic bag and throw it in the trash. Do not flush it down the toilet.
7. Avoid Putting Coffee Grounds Down the Drain
Many people are surprised to learn that coffee grounds can clog up their drains and lead to repairs. It is because coffee grounds are very fine and can easily become caught in the pipes. Over time, the buildup of coffee grounds will narrow the pipes and restrict the water flow, similar to what grease does.
In addition, coffee grounds can attract other debris, such as hair, which will further clog the pipes. As a result, it’s best to avoid putting coffee grounds down the drain. Instead, dispose of them in the trash or compost them.
8. Use a Drain Screen
Another simple way to prevent drain repairs is to use a drain screen. A drain screen is a small mesh screen that covers the drain’s opening. It helps to catch hair, soap scum, and other debris before it has a chance to enter the pipes. As a result, it can significantly reduce the frequency of drain cleaning and repairs. What’s best about drain screens is that they’re inexpensive and easy to install, so they’re a great first line of defense.
9. Clean Your Drains Regularly
Cleaning your drains is one of the best ways to prevent drain repairs. By removing debris and buildup from your drains, you can reduce the likelihood of clogs and blockages. Regular cleaning also helps remove buildup from the pipes, which can eventually lead to breaks and leaks.
Several drain-cleaning products are available on the market, or you can flush your drains with hot water weekly. Make sure to read the products’ documentation carefully, as some products can actually damage pipes over time and should only be used for difficult clogs.
10. Schedule Annual Drain Cleaning
In addition to cleaning your drains yourself on a regular basis, you should schedule an annual drain cleaning with a professional. A professional drain cleaning involves using specialized equipment to remove buildup from your pipes. This can help prevent major problems like clogs, leaks, and breaks.
While it may seem like a waste of money to have your drains cleaned yearly, it’s a wise investment. A professional drain cleaning costs far less than major repairs. As such, it’s well worth the price to keep your drains in good working condition.
11. Be Careful What You Flush
One of the main causes of drain problems is flushing things that you should not. This includes feminine hygiene products, as covered before, but it also extends to diapers, paper towels, condoms, and baby wipes. These items can easily clog up your pipes and cause major blockages. As a result, it’s important to only flush toilet paper and human waste down your toilets.
12. Don’t Pour Chemicals Down the Drain
Pouring chemicals down the drain is a common practice that can do more harm than good. Many believe that chemicals will help clear clogs and remove buildup from their pipes. Even with drain-cleaning products, this isn’t always the case.
Many chemicals can damage your pipes and lead to you calling the repairman. Additionally, they can be dangerous to your health if inhaled. As such, it’s best to avoid using chemicals altogether. If you have a clog, try using a plunger or a drain snake before resorting to powerful cleaning agents.
Consult the Experts
Drain repairs can be costly and time-consuming. However, there are several simple steps you can take to prevent them. By following the tips above, you can save yourself a lot of money and hassle in the long run.
At High 5 Plumbing, a top-rated plumbing company in Denver, CO, we offer water line and gas pipe repair, drain cleaning, garbage disposal and water heater repair, installation, and maintenance, hydro-jetting, and video inspections. We also deal with sewer lines and sump pumps. Contact us today for more information or service.