If you own an older home that still features its original plumbing system, your drains may be more prone to developing clogs. Fortunately, you can help prevent slow drains and drain blockages by taking the time to practice a small amount of preventive maintenance. Curious what you can do to keep your aging drains in good repair? The experts at Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning have the details below.


1. Avoid Putting Potentially Damaging Substances Down Your Drains

The most effective (and easiest) way to help prevent drain clogs in older plumbing systems is to avoid putting things down the drain that can cause clogs. Though you may not be able to completely avoid potentially damaging substances washing down your drains, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way. Here’s what should never go down your drains:


●        Toilet. Never flush sanitary products or even “flushable” wipes. These items do not dissolve fully and over time, they accumulate and contribute to severe toilet clogs.

●        Bathrooms sinks. Don’t allow hair or cosmetic products to wash into your bathroom sink drains. As these substances accumulate in your pipes, they form a thick sludge that can prevent proper water drainage.

●        Floor drains. If you have floor drains in your garage, laundry room, utility room, or basement, do not allow oil-based products, laundry lint, or other debris to flow into the drain.

●        Kitchen drains. Never allow food particles to flow down your kitchen sink drains unless you have a garbage disposal. Even if your kitchen features a disposal, there are many items you should never put inside it. Check out this article for further details on what doesn’t belong in your garbage disposal.


2. Tend to Slow Drains Immediately

If you notice your drains are moving slower than usual, tend to them immediately as the problem will only get worse. Because older pipes tend to be narrower than their modern counterparts, they can accumulate debris quickly, and if you allow a slow drain to persist, it won’t grow more functional on its own.


To handle a slow drain, try flushing it with boiling hot water first. If that doesn’t solve the issue, consider using an environmentally safe, enzymatic cleaner to restore normal flow. Just make sure you ask a professional for advice on safe product options for your aging plumbing system.


3. Use Drain Strainers and Clean Them Regularly

Drain strainers are super simple to install, easy to clean, and can make a substantial difference in the health of your household plumbing system. So if you’re not currently using strainers on your kitchen and bathroom drains, now is the time to start.


To maintain good water flow, it’s also important to remove debris from your strainers regularly. If you allow too much gunk to accumulate on the screens, they won’t allow water to flow through freely. To clean a strainer, simply remove any debris from the screen by hand, toss the gunk in the trash, and reinsert the strainer in its proper location.


If there’s soap scum residue or other buildup on the screen, give it a quick cleaning before you reinsert it. You can use a standard household cleaner or try applying a degreaser if the buildup is substantial.


4. Flush Drains Regularly

One super simple way to prevent slow drains and resulting drain clogs is to flush your drains with hot water regularly. Once a week, boil a pot of water and pour it down any drains that you use frequently. The hot water will loosen residue clinging to the interior of the pipes and help prevent debris from collecting inside the drain.


5. Consider Using Enzyme Treatments

Enzyme drain treatments aren’t always appropriate for older plumbing systems, so before you take this route, consult with a professional drain cleaner. Inquire about the best products for your pipes and whether these types of cleaners could potentially harm your drains.


If you get the go-ahead to apply enzymatic products to your pipes, it’s usually best to use them sparingly, just to be safe. Before you pour a cleaner down a slow drain, try flushing it with hot water first. If that doesn’t work, only then should you turn to enzyme-based products. 


6. Install a Water Softener

If you live in an area with hard water, the water’s high mineral content can cause issues with older pipes. Because hard water is the main culprit behind limescale buildup and other forms of mineral calcification, installing a water softener can dramatically lessen the amount of mineral buildup inside your plumbing system. As a result, you’ll experience fewer issues with slow drains and drain blockages and many of your household appliances will also function better and last longer. 


7. Remove Large Tree Roots from Your Yard

If you own an older home, chances are your yard contains at least a few well-aged, large trees. Those trees have massive underground root systems, which can (believe it or not) pierce your main sewer line and cause severe drain blockages.


Unlike problems with the other drains in your home, a mainline sewer drain problem can require yard excavation to solve, so you’ll want to avoid potential issues at all costs. That’s why removing large tree roots from your yard (if they’re near your main line or septic system) is highly recommended.


Got Drain Clogs? Drain Blaster Bill Has a Solution

Regardless of your plumbing system’s age, if you’re dealing with persistent slow drains or you have a complete drain blockage, our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s can solve the problem. We specialize in performing camera drain inspections, routine drain cleaning, and water jetting and offer 24/7 service for Twin Cities homeowners. To request a free service estimate or learn more about our services, call our Stillwater, MN office today at 763-913-8719 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch promptly.