We have all had to deal with minor clogs in our drains. Most of these are resolved through some drain cleaner or natural remedies. However, a much larger problem is when the sewer line clogs. Rather than going through the hassle and time to unclog the main sewer plumbing line, including possibly calling in a professional plumber, you can take specific actions now to prevent this clog from occurring in the future. While no clog is completely preventable, the more proactive you can be in healthy drain performance the better. Some of these tips are easy to implements while others require more consideration and changes in behavior. Try to start with adopting one or two and then build up until it is foreign for you to not act according to the tips.
Tip 1. Use Drain Cleaner Once a Month
Photo by Joe Wolf on flickr
One of the easiest things you can do to keep your drains healthy is to keep in the habit of using drain cleaner monthly. This prevents buildup from accumulating in your small pipes which can lead to a clog in the larger pipe. Think about it this way, when you have an outlet to a river from a bunch of small streams and each one of those streams comes with a tiny amount of debris, this debris quickly multiplies and can lead to a major clog.
Tip 2. Locate Sewer Line and Remove Trees
A tree root that grew into the sewer line is the most common reason for the sewer line to clog. Therefore, you need to locate the sewer plumbing line and remove any nearby trees or bushes. Find out the type of tree you have and research how deep and wide the roots can grow. This can give you a sense as to the types of shrubbery safe to plant in close proximity to the sewer line.
Tip 3. Do not Flush Non-flushable Items
Anytime someone enters a public restroom, they are likely to see a sign that specifies to not flush anything foreign. Unfortunately, many people do not engage in the same behavior as home. In particular, feminine products and baby wipes should definitely not be flushed. These can get stuck in your pipes, back up, and cause major problems.
If you have little kids, they can also flush things that were never meant to by flushed! In the event that these continue down the drain, they can get stuck and start a backup.
Tip 4. Do not Put Solid Fat Down Kitchen Sink
Photo by Aqua Mechanical on flickr
Unlike plant oils, which stay as liquid, animal fat liquifies when it is heated and solidifies after it cools down. This can cause a huge problem in the drain because it can congeal as it is going down the drain. This problem is exacerbated over time when hot and cold water run down the drain. Hot water helps to liquify this fat while cold water solidifies it. Other food items that tend to create clogs are root vegetables and egg shells.
Tip 5. Don’t Let Hair Drain
Most people have to worry about hair going down their drain. It is essential to clean out hair every time a shower is taken and install a drain that minimizes the amount of hair going down the drain. Hair and soap can combine and cause a troublesome clog. Regularly check the drain catcher that is under the bathroom sink and clean it. If the collected waste under the catcher comes loose, it can contribute to a main sewer line clog.
Tip 6. Prevent Slow Draining Water
If you notice that water in one of your water sources is draining slowly, investigate immediately. A slow drain, just like clogged arteries, can increase the potential of a clog. If more than one pipe is draining slowly, this means that the clog has moved beyond one pipe into the sewer pipe that all of the house pipes run into. This is a troubling sign and one that needs to be dealt with immediately.
It is likely that only one of these will not prevent a clog in your main sewer line as rarely is the clog caused by only one problem. But by being proactive, you greatly reduce the risk of a clogged sewer line. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to preventing a clogged main sewer plumbing line. Although each one of those tips can take time to implement and remember, the potential time they save down the road is significant. If you need help remembering to complete this maintenance, consider setting an annual clock when you complete most of your other major house maintenance. A clogged main sewer line is not only costly with time, but is also an expensive problem. If you need additional help, contact your plumbing company and save yourself a headache!