We have all encountered the situation of clogged drains. Having to deal with the plumbing involved in unclogging a drain is a headache. In the best case scenario, you can put some drain cleaner down the pipes and the clog loosens. However, the situation can easily turn more dire and a plumber might need to be called for more severe clogs or main sewer line blockages. While we cannot eliminate every single clog, employing proactive maintenance strategies can minimize a lot of clogs in pipes. This article will cover some effective strategies for preventing clogs.
Step 1. Avoid Draining Dangerous Materials
When we think about dangerous materials here, we are not thinking of the hazardous chemicals. Rather, items like grease, coffee grounds, and hair should never be placed down the drain. In order to prevent these items from draining, you need to proactively stop them from draining. To prevent coffee grounds, place them in a compost bucket. For grease, place it into an old container and then in the trash cans. For hair, make sure that you always have a drain cover in the sink and shower.
Step 2. Run Extra Hot Water
Many of the materials that go down the kitchen drain can thicken on their way down as they cool down. To prevent this from happening, run hot water down the drain after disposing of these materials.
Step 3. Regularly Clean Drains
Photo by Pgdp123, from Wikimedia Commons
Use baking soda and water to regularly clean all your drains. Baking soda is able to remove the extra soap scum or other materials that cause buildup on the sides of your pipes. This prevents foul smells but also keeps the pipes healthy. Think about pipes as your arteries and veins. Just like buildup slows down our blood flow, it also slows water flow in drains. In the event of more significant clogs, pour one cuper of vinegar down the drain and chase it with water after 30 minutes.
Step 4. Keep Drain Stoppers Clean
Photo by orionpozo on flickr
Many bathroom sinks will have a drain stopper under the exposed drain. Letting this gather hair and other waste can cause a large clog to break off at one time and travel down the drain. This could cause a clog further down the drain.
Step 5. Counteract Slow Flow Water
Many cities now require slow flow water for sinks and tubs. This is a strategy to save water and be more environmentally friendly. However, it is not effective for flushing items because the force of the water is not enough to drain. To counteract this, occasionally place five gallons of water down the drain while continually flushing.
Step 6. Properly Dispose of Paint and Cement
In the case of projects, you might have some materials left over. It can be easy to place these materials like liquid cement or paint thinner down the drain. However, these can cause very expensive damage down the road.
Step 7. Use Toilet Paper Smartly
Imagine walking into your bathroom and watching a child throw the toilet paper into the toilet. This is not an uncommon problem. However, attempting to flush a large amount of paper can clean the individual drain or the entire sewer line. In the event this happens, put a large amount of dish soap and hot water in your toilet. Let this break up for 10 minutes and then flush the paper after it has broken up.
Employing these strategies are excellent how-tos in order to avoid the annoying to potentially catastrophic drain and sewer clog. While it can take extra upfront effort to proactively manage your drains, your plumbing system and pipes will thank you. Your wallet will also be appreciative of your effort to prevent clogs.