The drains in your house are important, allowing you to dispose of water and carrying it to a sewer or septic tank. While they are effective in doing so most of the time, clogs can occur that prevent any water from passing through your pipes. This can be frustrating, inconvenient, and costly if the problem is not addressed as soon as possible. Below are 5 ways to look after the drains in your home.
1. No chemicals
Clogs in drains are quite common in homes and it may be tempting to use a drain cleaner or opener. These products can be successful in eating away what is causing the clog, but they do the same thing to the pipes in your home.
When a clog occurs, try using a plunger first. If the clog is too big to be addressed with this method, try pouring half a cup of salt followed by extremely hot water. If this is unsuccessful, you will require the services of a plumber. He/she can use a camera that is inserted into the drain, observe what is causing the clog, and choose the best method to unclog your drain.
2. No foreign objects
You or a family member may frequently pour things down the drain and because no issues have occurred thus far, you may think it is ok to continue to do so. However, the reality is, these objects can take a while to accumulate before a clog and when one occurs, it will occur suddenly and without any warning.
To prevent a clog, you and anyone in the household needs to refrain from pouring things down the drain. These include grease, coffee grounds, and any food particles. Installing screens on all of your drains will prevent lint, hair, and soap scum from clogging your drain as these are objects known to cause issues the most.
3. Soften your water
In municipal areas hard water is usually not an issue because a city’s water supply is usually treated with enough chlorine to kill all contaminants. However, in rural areas, calcium and magnesium are common in water supplies and they are very hard on your plumbing and pipes.
To prevent hard water from causing drain issues in your home, consider the installation of a whole-home water softener. This allows calcium and magnesium ions in water to be replaced by sodium ions. This process occurs before any water even reaches your pipes, ensuring the water that does enter is clean and will not be harmful to your plumbing.
4. Add bacteria
When most people think of bacteria, they think of a substance that is harmful. However, when it comes to the plumbing in your home, bacteria can be helpful, keeping your drains in good working order.
As opposed to chemical drain cleaners, bacteria cleaners help because it breaks down organic matter proven to cause problems with drains. These bacteria agents are poured down your drain before a clog even occurs. That way, when things come down the drain that could potentially cause a clog, the bacteria is able to neutralize it.
5. Inspect pipes
Sometimes a clog can occur in your drain suddenly without any signs it is about to occur. Other times, you can tell just by looking at your pipes.
Every so often, go to the area of your home where the main drain pipes are located. This is usually your basement. Specifically, be on the lookout for any cracks or leaks around the pipes as well as any water on the floor. This is demonstrative of a pipe that is not able to allow water to pass through to the sewer or septic tank. When this happens, it is best to hire a plumber who can cut the pipe and install a new piece in its place.