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4 Tips For Preventing Drain Clogs In Your Home

Construction & Contractors Articles

Drain clogs are a hassle that no homeowner looks forward to. While you may be aware of a few common tips to remove clogs after they occur, you may not be as familiar with the steps you can take to keep them from happening in the first place. Here are four tips that can significantly reduce how often drain clogs occur.

Dispose of Food Scraps Correctly

Just because your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal, doesn't mean it can be used in the same way as a trashcan. While garbage disposals are great for grinding up egg shells, citrus rinds, and non-fibrous veggies, there are certain food scraps that should never be put down any sink.

Oils and fats are entirely unfazed by the grinders in your garbage disposal, and they will form pesky blockages when they cool and solidify. Rice, pasta, and breads also run the risk of creating a clog because they expand as they absorb water. While small amounts of coffee grounds are typically okay, large amounts will start to clump together and form a clog because they contain oils that are not soluble in water.

If grease or other clog-causing food scraps do manage to make their way down your drain, it is a good idea to run hot water for five to 10 minutes afterward. This will prevent the oils and fats from solidifying and help to wash other stubborn foods out of the pipe and into your home's septic tank.

Install a Drain Screen or Grate

Hair, soap scum, and other clog-causers have to go somewhere when you use your bath or shower. Keeping your drains completely clear of these contaminants is virtually impossible, but installing a mesh screen or metal grate over your bathtub drain or shower floor drain will help to keep large clumps of hair and soap out of your plumbing.

If your drains don't have pre-installed grates or screens, you can easily install them yourself. Take a picture of your drain fixture and visit a local plumbing supply store to find a screen or grate that is compatible with your drain. Be sure to pull up the screen or grate at least once a month and scrape any gunk that has accumulated into the trash.

Flush Drains Monthly

In most cases, drain clogs take time to develop. Fortunately for homeowners, this means that preventing clogs doesn't have to be a daily battle. Establishing a routine of flushing your drains at least once a month is sufficient to prevent clogs caused by long-term grime buildup.

While flushing your drains with boiling water is one option, you may see more effective drain cleaning if you use a few more ingredients. Pour a half-cup each of baking soda and vinegar into your drain and plug the drain. Allow the mixture to fizzle inside your drain for 10 minutes, and then unplug the drain and pour in a pot of boiling water. If you perform this quick process on each drain in your home at least once a month, you can expect drain clogs to occur much less frequently.

Have Your Plumbing Inspected Yearly

Even if you take all the right precautions to prevent drain clogs in your home, there are some clogs that can form so far down in a house's plumbing that the homeowner can't do anything to prevent them. Having your plumbing inspected by a professional at least once a year is the best way to avoid these clogs. Plumbers can snake a home's plumbing to prevent clogs in the deepest parts of a home's plumbing.

Use these simple steps to reduce the occurrence of drain clogs in your home.

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29 January 2016