5 Maintenance Tips For Household Drains

Posted on: 11 June 2015

Household drains are an aspect of home ownership that is easy to overlook and ignore when they're functioning properly. Of course, as soon as a drain gets clogged and backed up you realize just what an important aspect of any household drains actually are. Rather than taking your kitchen and bathroom drains for granted, it's best to be proactive in maintaining them in order to avoid future problems. Here are five ways to do just that:

Know Which Foods to Avoid

It can be tempting to rinse all of your food scraps down the drain and count on a combination of running water and your garbage disposal to take care of it all. Doing so can quickly lead to slow or blocked drains, however, as water and your garbage disposal are not an adequate match for everything you might put down the drain.

The key is understanding which foods can safely go down the drain without causing problems and which definitely cannot. Very oily foods and cooking grease are especially problematic because they tend to solidify inside the drain, potentially causing major blockages. Other foods to avoid putting down the drain include pasta and rice, which expand in the drain. When in doubt, you can check this handy list of which foods are safe or not safe to put down the drain.

Regularly Flush With Hot Water

An easy and free but quite effective way to help take care of your drains is to flush them once a week or so with very hot water. Simply boil a pot of water and then slowly pour the boiling water down your drain. Repeat in each room of your house with a drain. By flushing your drains with hot water you will help break up and clear food and other debris before it has a chance to accumulate and cause blockages. In order to remember this important but easy to forget home maintenance step, simply create a calendar alert on your phone.

Don't Let Hair Build Up in Shower Drains

Hair accumulating in the shower drain is a major source of clogs. Luckily, this potential problem has an easy and cheap solution: simply buy a few drain guards from any home improvement store and place them in the drains throughout your home. The drain guards will let water flush through while trapping hair. Then, instead of having to go through the trouble of cleaning hair from the actual drain, you can simply clean it out of the drain guard whenever you feel like it.

Deodorize With Baking Soda

Clogs aren't the only common household drain problem. Drains can also begin to smell badly as a result of decomposing food or other items. In order to help get rid of unpleasant smells coming from your drain, you can simply deodorize it with baking soda. Start by pouring a kettle of hot water down the drain. Next, toss about half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Leave it for a few minutes and then complete the process by pouring another pot of boiling water down.

Have Professionally Cleared When Needed

Even a well-maintained drain will occasionally give you problems. Persistent clogs or bad smells that just won't go away typically call for a professional treatment. By having your drains professionally snaked and treated you will get a more thorough solution to your drain problems. Some homeowners even have their drains cleaned once or twice a year as a preventative maintenance step.

By taking good care of your household drains you can help ensure they will function well for many years to come. 

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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