drain maintenance 101
Encountering a backed-up or clogged drain is a major inconvenience and a fast way to put a damper on even the best days. While there are numerous methods available to tackle a drain that’s already clogged, the best method to deal with the issue is to avoid it altogether. Applying early preventative measures can help maintain the integrity of a drain, sidestepping potential headaches before they can occur, and many of the most effective preventative clogged drain tips are easy to employ, or just minor adjustments to everyday life.
Besides water, not much should find its way down the kitchen sink drain. Any cooking oil or grease should be deposited into a separate receptacle — such as a can or jar — rather than being poured down the sink, where it will cool, congeal, and cause a massive clog. Any food waste created during meal prep, or any leftovers after eating, should be thrown out or composted. It can seem like it’s much simpler to just wash it down the drain, but this will cause major blockages and damage, leading to serious drain maintenance down the line.
A good practice to get into after every meal is to let hot water run through the drain for a minute or two, as this will help move minor blockage inducing substances through the pipes, such as soap scum buildup. While hot water directly from the faucet works just fine in most cases, pouring a pot of boiling water can specifically help slow-moving and minor drain clogs.
Catch and Release
A drain maintenance tip to work into the weekly cleaning schedule is the removal of hair and build-up from the bathroom drains. As more hair builds up in both drains, the drains will become slower, and more hair will be washed down the pipes, increasing the chances of a hairball clog that’s much harder to reach. Both the bathroom shower and sink drains become inundated with hair, and common pop-up drains that are generally installed in both locations are easy to open and remove the offending hair clumps.
If either drain has a larger opening, or if the drain itself is more difficult to open up, investing in a simple drain screen can be a good idea. This will help catch hair outside of the drain for easy removal, meaning fewer strands to weave their way inside the drain, and lessening the chances of a clogged drain.
Avoid Home Chemistry, Consult a Professional
In most major big-box retail and grocery stores, there is at least one aisle solely dedicated to drain cleaning and clog removal products. When looking over these bottles and thinking about a slow draining sink at home, the convenience can become tempting to pick one off the shelf and use it to try and clear up the clogged drain issue. However, while it may clear the drain in the short term, the caustic chemicals contained within these products can quickly degrade the integrity of the pipes, leading to cracks and massive leaks, which means much larger problems, and much more costly solutions.
Rather than gambling on the chemical concoctions, a much safer drain tip is to schedule regular maintenance for all of the home’s drains. A professional plumber will be able to more easily diagnose and clear a drain safely and soundly without risking the piping of the entire home’s plumbing. They’ll also be able to detect larger issues before those issues get out of hand, and look at places potentially overlooked, or considered unrelated when a clogged drain is just another symptom of an unknown issue.
Clogged drains are never fun, and always best dealt with before they happen. To ensure that your drains are receiving the correct maintenance, or if you have any questions about additional preventative techniques, call up the experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing, at (815) 781-2567, or give them a shout through their online scheduling portal. Professional and certified, the plumbers of Duane Blanton are happy to help you with any plumbing needs, and to ensure that each drain in your home keeps clearing without issue.
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