If you’re like many homeowners, you don’t often think about your drains, but that may be a major mistake. Neglecting your drains can result in serious drain blockages, leaks, and other forms of pipe damage that may cause more serious plumbing issues down the road. And the more serious the plumbing issue, the more expensive it is to deal with.
Fortunately, household drain maintenance isn’t difficult. You do, however, have to stay on top of keeping your drains clean and monitoring their performance. Take a look below at a few simple things you can do to keep your drains in optimal condition long term.
Schedule Annual Drain Cleaning
The number one thing you can do to maintain clean, free-flowing drains is schedule professional drain cleaning annually. As a preventative measure, routine, professional drain cleaning ensures the interior of your pipes is completely free from debris and residue.
Since gunky residue and solids tend to accumulate inside your pipes over time, it can easily contribute to slow drains or complete drain blockages if you let it sit untouched. Having it professionally removed on an annual basis is an excellent way to help ensure your drains function properly.
Keep Solid Objects Out of Your Drains
The majority of your household plumbing system is designed to handle liquid and liquid only. Of course, your toilet drains can accommodate human waste and toilet paper, but those are the only solid objects that should ever flow into your household drains. Some of the most common culprits behind severe drain clogs include:
● Personal hygiene products (feminine products, “flushable” wet wipes, etc.)
● Diapers and baby wipes
● Grease, fats, and oils
● Cat litter
● Excessive toilet paper
When you’re diligent about keeping solid items out of your drains to the best of your ability, you can drastically reduce your risk of developing slow drains or complete blockages.
Use Drain Strainers
How do you keep solids out of your drains? One super-simple way to get the job done is to install drain strainers wherever they’ll fit. Ideally, you should have strainers on your kitchen sink drains (if you don’t have a garbage disposal), as well as your bathtub drain, shower drain, and bathroom sink drains. If you have a floor drain in your basement or garage, that should have a drain strainer too.
Periodically Perform a Basic Maintenance Drain Flush
Flushing the drains you use most often is a great way to keep them flowing freely all the time. For most households, the drains that can benefit most from a periodic flush are the kitchen sink, bathtub, shower, and bathroom sink. If your family does a lot of laundry, you may want to flush the laundry drain as well since detergent residue and debris can easily accumulate in there.
There are a couple of different ways you can perform this type of basic drain cleaning, so choose the one that works best for you: You can:
● Make a bucket of hot, soapy water and pour it down the drain.
● Pour baking soda into the drain and follow that with white vinegar. Let it sit so it can react inside the pipe and then flush it out with hot water.
● Pour an enzymatic drain cleaner into the drains you frequently use to dissolve residue buildup inside the pipe. Make sure you only use enzyme-based drain cleaning solutions; never use chemical-based products as they’re incredibly harsh and can damage your plumbing.
Clean P-Traps Periodically
All of the drains in your home should have a p-trap, which is a u-shaped section of pipe that typically sits right below the drain opening. The p-trap is designed to contain a small amount of water constantly, which prevents sewer gases from wafting up through the drain and into your living spaces.
While this trap has a very specific (and necessary!) function, because of its shape, it can accumulate debris and occasionally slow down drainage. If you notice any of your drains are moving a little slower than usual, try doing some brief drain cleaning on the p-trap to see if that helps. Here’s what you can do:
● For bathroom and kitchen sink drains: Position a bucket beneath the p-trap to collect any drips or debris that come out of the drain. Loosen the p-trap until it comes free and pull any hair and other solid debris out of the pipe. Re-attach the trap and flush it with hot water to remove residue.
● For bathtub and shower drains: Remove the overflow plate and stopper from the drain and try using a bathtub-specific plunger to suck any hair and other debris out of the pipe. If that doesn’t work, drain snaking may be necessary, which you should leave to a drain cleaning professional.
● For floor drains: Call a drain cleaning professional. You won’t be able to get to this p-trap since it’s underground, so drain snaking or water jetting may be necessary to improve slow drainage.
Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning Today with Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning
Dealing with slow or blocked drains in your Twin Cities home? Get in touch with our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s to schedule professional drain cleaning service! We’ll perform a drain camera inspection to locate the problem and proceed with water jetting or drain snaking depending on what’s best for your plumbing system. Whether you’re looking to address an acute problem or you’re trying to prevent plumbing clogs from happening, we’ve got you covered.
To get started, request a free service estimate or call our Stillwater office today at 763-913-8719. You can also message us with any questions or concerns, all we’ll get back to you promptly!