6 Top Drain Maintenance Tips

25 Feb

Drains are a key component of a functioning plumbing system at home and office. Keeping them clean helps you avoid messy unclogging sessions. Unfortunately, some homeowners neglect drain maintenance and end up with an unpleasant, smelly, and expensive situation to fix.

You may think a clogged drain is inevitable, but that’s not the case. With the proper care and techniques, you’ll be able to keep your drains and pipes clean. And clean gutters mean an efficient plumbing system.

Maintaining and keeping your drains clean and clear is not as difficult as it might sound. Here are some tips you can use for drain maintenance.

1. Strain what you drain

Not everything can get washed down the drain. Knowing what can go and what you should scoop or strain out is crucial. The only things you should wash or flush down your gutters are water and human waste. Anything else is a potential risk for clogging and damage. That includes all of the following items:

  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Fat
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Unused prescriptions or medicines
  • Pet fish that have passed

Oils, grease, and fats may seem easy to pour and flush, but once they cool off, they can harden. This can create blockages and clogs in your system. Like oils and grease, coffee grounds can also cling to the sides of pipes, causing a serious hindrance to your water flow through the drain. Moreover, eggshells can catch on items in the pipe and create a larger clog.

Flushing or washing unused or expired medicine down the sink or toilet allows it to get into the water system. This is a serious health risk. Instead, drop off your unused medications at a pharmacy. They will know how to dispose of it and avoid contaminating the water supply in your region.

To be extra careful with your drains, use a filter to keep all materials free from your pipes. These filters can keep all solid material from slipping down your drain and causing a clog.

2. Be clever when you clean

Cleaning your drains doesn’t require special chemicals. It is a bad idea to use chemicals to clean any clogs or blockage in your pipes. These chemicals are strong enough to burn through mess and grime that has built up in your pipes, and they are also strong enough to damage your pipes. It’s the kind of damage that can reduce the strength of your pipes and your plumbing system. So, instead of using harsh chemicals to keep your drains clean, try a more natural approach. Here are two different ways of cleaning your gutters that won’t lead to bigger problems:

Hot water – pour a pot of hot, but not boiling, water down your drain. This will melt the materials that are causing the clog. Then follow it quickly with a pot of cold water to flush the clog away.

Baking soda and vinegar – pour about a half cup of baking soda down your drain. Then pour a half cup of vinegar to follow it. The mixture will bubble up and clean your pipes. Wait about 10 minutes, and then flush it with hot water. Use this solution about once a month to keep your pipes and drains clean. This will keep clogs from building up in your drain, and it will also remove any bad smells.

3. Have the right clog tools

Clogs can happen, and you need to have the right tools on hand to deal with them. Here are the three tools you should keep nearby to help you fix the clog.

  • Drain snake – best used for larger clogs. You can slip the drain snake down the drain and try and break up the clog. These tools are made to fit down smaller pipes like your kitchen sink.
  • Auger – similar to a drain snake but used for larger pipes like your shower or toilet.
  • Plunger – use it for smaller clogs to try and loosen the material to be flushed free.

4. Insulate your pipes

If you live in a colder climate, consider protecting your pipes with insulation. Cold weather can cause damage and freezing in your pipes. Having another layer of protection around your pipes can help you avoid problems that come with the freezing and thawing of water in your pipes. It can lead to damage that causes leaks and breaks in your pipes.

5. Fix damage quickly

Small damage will only get bigger if you don’t have it repaired by a professional plumber. When you notice something not working well in your drains, such as slower than usual water drainage, call your plumber to have a look. It’s better to invest a little money right now to have repairs done rather than spend a lot more when you have a plumbing emergency.

6. Don’t use your disposal as a garbage

Having a disposal in your kitchen can be an advantage when you need to get rid of food scraps, but you need to be cautious that these scraps don’t get stuck in your drain. You’ll also need to avoid putting the following foods in your disposal:

  • Coffee grinds
  • Eggshells
  • Starchy foods
  • Bones
  • Nutshells
  • Fruit pit

These foods are the most common to cause clogs in your drain, even if your disposal grinds them up.

For more information about keeping your drains clean and clear or to speak with professional plumbers in Bloor West Village, call Brothers Plumbing at 1-800-742-8471 or contact us here.

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