Waste managment in your home, starts with your drains. All waste water enters the plumbing system through a drain of some sort, which is why it is really important to take care of your drains to prevent any major plumbing problems. Some of the most common plumbing problems can be prevented by taking care of your drains! Here are some tips to help you take care of your drains.
#1 WATCH WHAT GOES DOWN THE DRAIN
We cannot say it enough! Watch what goes down the drain. Taking better care of your drains, starts with what you put down the drain. Drains are meant to remove liquid waste. Nothing more. Many people are under the misconception that anything can go down the drain. This simply isn’t the case. Once something goes down the drain, it travels through a network of pipes, where it will eventually enter into the city sewer system, or septic tank, that is if there aren’t any obstructions that prevent the flow of water. This is why you really want to pay attention to what goes down the drain. By flushing or putting things that don’t belong like: trash, plastic, hair, food particles, and grease, you risk buildup over time. Once something catches in your pipes it can continue to grow and collect other debris, which can eventually lead to a major clog! To prevent this from happening, only flush or put things down the drain that belong. If you are unsure about something, it is better to veer on the side of caution.
#2 GARBAGE DISPOSAL
The garbage disposal is often the reason why so many people think that anything can go down the drain. Just because garbage is in the name, does not mean that the garbage disposal should be treated like a trash can. The garbage disposal was meant to pulverize small pieces of food that were rinsed off dirty dishes. This allows the small food particles to travel through the pipes and not cause a clog. Watching what goes down the garbage disposal is important, you can invest in a small screen to prevent unwanted items from entering the garbage disposal. It is also important to make sure you are operating it correctly. Always run water when using the garbage disposal, and avoid over loading it!
#3 PREVENT SMELLY DRAINS
Every now and then you may get an unpleasant whiff coming from your drains. There are several reasons for this.
- If it is your garbage disposal, there could be an overgrowth of bacteria. You need to deodorize your garbage disposal. You can do this by running hot water, the pouring some baking soda followed by vinegar into the garbage disposal. This helps remove the grime that can buildup over time. You can also try putting lemon peels in the garbage diposal. The natural oils in the peel instantly deodorize your drain, and leave a clean lemony fragrance.
- If it is a sink that doesn’t get used all that often, then it could simply be the result of a dried p trap. The p trap is designed to keep a barrier of water in the pipe, which prevent sewer gas from traveling back up through your plumbing and into your home. Simply run the faucet for a bit to allow some water to enter the trap.
- Another reason you could be suffering from some stinky drains is a clogged vent stack! This is vent that allows sewer gas to be vented out and away from your home. They can often become clogged with leaves, birds nests, critters, or even ice and snow. Another sign that you have a clogged vent stack, is gurgling drains or toilets. Contact your plumber if you feel this is the reason.
#4 REGULAR DRAIN CLEANING
Regular drain cleaning is the best way to prevent clogs. Over time a grimy sludge buildups in your pipes, which can obstruct the flow of water and form large clogs. The best way to combat drain sludge is to have your drains and pipes cleaned at regular intervals. You can easily set up a service agreement with your local plumber to ensure that you are staying on top of your regular drain cleaning.
#5 AVOID HARSH CHEMICALS
At the first signs of a clog, many people are quick to reach for the liquid drain cleaner. This can be a costly mistake. For starters, liquid drain cleaners only provide temporary relief, a lot of the time only putting a band-aid on the issue. Liquid drain cleaners can also cause damage to the pipes, are dangerous to handle, and are not good for the environment. Avoid issue related to liquid drain cleaners and hire a plumber!
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