Maintaining the drains in your home and keeping them free from blockages can save you a lot of time and hassle. Trying to remove the blockages yourself can be very frustrating. And having to call a specialist to clear the drains will result in an expensive and unwanted repair bill.
The best way to avoid the hassles of cleaning out clogged drains is to perform regular maintenance on them – prevention is better than cure.
Here are a six simple ways to prevent your drains from blocking.
1. Hot Water
Trying to clear blockages in a drain with cold water can often result in the blockage becoming worse. Cold water tends to bind up the materials that can make clogs worse. By running hot water through the drain for about a minute after use, helps clear the drain of any materials left behind. Use the hottest water possible to help clear the drain.
2. Baking Soda Chaser
You can help to keep your drains clean by occasionally adding a handful of baking soda to the hot water for added cleaning power. The inside of your drain can often gather deposits on the inside of the pipes that can stop the normal flow of water and debris. This can create conditions that cause build-up and clogs. By adding baking soda to the water occasionally, it:
- Breaks down sticky surfaces
- Absorbs foul odors
- Works as a cleaning agent
3. Use a Drain Cap
Placing a drain protector (like this one) or screen over the bathtub or sink plughole, helps prevent larger pieces of debris from going down the drain and creating a blockage. The drain screen catches materials that can be cleared away by hand before getting washed down the drain. Drain screens can be found at most hardware stores and are fairly inexpensive. Making a small investment in a screen can save you a lot of expense and hassle later on. You can also find some screens designed specifically for certain problems such as stopping hair from going down the drain.
4. An Ounce of Vinegar
Using natural cleaning agents in your pipes are not only more environmentally friendly but also better for the pipes. By pouring an ounce of vinegar down the pipes once a week, it helps to clean the pipes and also adds a slick film along the pipes that keeps bacteria and debris from building up inside them. Pour a small amount of vinegar into the pipe and then wash it down with hot water after about 30 minutes.
5. Keep Drains Clear
About once a week, clean out the tops of the drains from hair and other debris that can get washed down the drain before it happens. To help clean out garbage disposals and prevent them from backing up, run hot water down the drain and then grind some ice cubes in the disposal to loosen up any debris while the water is running. Let the hot water run for about 4 or 5 minutes to clear out the disposal.
6. Call a Professional
Many quality plumbing contractors offer a maintenance program, which means someone will come over periodically to ensure your entire system is flowing smoothly. This is the ideal option for those who want the peace of mind that comes with knowing their needs are looked after by a skilled professional.
These are just a few ideas that will help you keep your drains from backing up and creating clogs that can waste time and cost money. By doing some simple steps regularly, it will help you to keep your drains clear and running properly.
Todd Greene is a self-proclaimed handyman who loves blogging about DIY home improvement as well as plumbing repair in Phoenix, Arizona.