Prevention is the best cure, even when it comes to home drains. Clogged drains are best avoided by adopting everyday habits that reduce the chance of clogging, while performing more arduous drain cleaning tasks at regular intervals.
The material of the plumbing pipes is also a big factor when it comes to preventing drain clogs. Certain materials in drains accumulate more debris, like food particles and soap and chemical residue on the pipe lining. Older iron pipes also rust, which over time causes clogs and even fractures in home drains. If you live in an old home where the piping is galvanized or cast iron, you may want to consider a repipe in order to upgrade to drains made of copper or PVC plastic, since these materials are the least likely to clog and will not rust.
Regardless of the material of your drain pipes, there’s a lot you can do to avoid drain clogs. Preventing clogged plumbing begins with awareness of little habits that over time cause clogging. Another important step to remember is performing regular drain maintenance that goes a long way in preventing blocked drains.
Tips to Prevent Clogged Drains:
- Make sure all your sinks and tubs have stoppers. Clean them regularly
- Never pour cooking grease down the drain
Once a Week:
- Fill up the sink all the way to the top, then remove the stopper. This will perform a simple flush of the drain line with the sheer weight and volume of the water mass
Once a Month:
- Pour bleach to the fixture traps and let it sit overnight. This will help loosen up build up inside pipes. When you no longer need to run water at night, pour 12 ounces of bleach in the drain, and the next day water that runs through the drain carries the minor clogs away
Once in Three Months:
- A simple clogged drain prevention task involves checking the stoppers in all sinks and tubs and removing buildup of organic material
- Perform a thorough flush by simultaneously filling all sinks and bathtubs in your home to the brim with water. At once, remove all stoppers, and the mass of water will flush even drains running underneath the house (you may need the help of a few friends for this one!)
What If I Still Get a Clog?
Unfortunately, drain clogs can hardly be avoided forever, even though the frequency can be reduced with the above measures. If your drain clogs and there is no sewage back-up present, go to the plunger first – minor drain clogs can often be cleared simply with a plunger. Pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain, or a chemical drain cleaner also does the trick in some cases. If the main line is clogged, you can try a few DIY tricks, but the safest solution is to call a professional plumber. Most companies have drain cleaning discounts, since it is such a common problem among homeowners.