Sometimes, clogged drains are unavoidable. But if you don’t want to end up doing pipe or sewer line repairs, you’ll want to prevent clogs when you can and figure out exactly what’s going on when you do get a clog. Camera drain inspections come in handy there; as their name suggests, these involve a professional inserting a small drain inspection camera into your plumbing system to let you know what’s going on. And as for preventing clogs in the first place? Here are five things that can help you with that goal:
- Don’t Put Food Down the Sink
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people treat their kitchen sinks like trash cans. Food particles might seem small enough to fit down the drain, but they can easily clump together and cause clogs. Even if you have a garbage disposal, be mindful of what could be put in the trash or compost bin, instead.
- Dispose of Grease in the Trash
Remember that just because something looks like a liquid when you pour it down the drain doesn’t mean it’s always in liquid form. That’s true of many kinds of kitchen grease, which can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Instead of pouring hot grease down the drain, pour it into an empty milk carton or other disposable container, let it solidify, and then put it in the trash can.
- Use Screens Over Shower Drains
The top cause of clogs when it comes to bathrooms is hair. It’s completely normal for a small amount of hair to fall when you’re shampooing, but even that small amount is more than enough to clog up your drains. You can make drain cleaning easier by putting a mesh screen over your drain and shaking any hair into the trash can out after every shower.
- Know How to Use an Auger and Plunger
When you’re trying to fix clogs on your own, you should be using an auger (also known as a drain snake) and/or plunger. Chemical drain cleaners can cause corrosion, especially if you have older metal pipes, so you’ll want to use them sparingly or not at all.
- Do Regular Drain Cleanings
Drain cleaning doesn’t have to be a huge hassle if you do it often enough (weekly for bathroom drains, monthly for kitchen drains). And remember, not keeping up on maintenance cleanings makes it more likely you’ll have to pay for a professional drain cleaning or more extensive repair. Even pouring some baking soda and hot water down your drains once in a while is a good start.
How else can homeowners take better care of their drains? Join the discussion in the comments.