Having a blocked drain or sewer line is never a good thing, even if trenchless pipe repair methods now mean that sewer line repair isn’t as daunting as it used to be. How can you avoid needing repairs in the first place? First of all, you’ll want to invest in a professional drain cleaning from time to time. But there are plenty of additional dos and don’ts that can help you keep your drains and sewer lines healthy. Here are five tips all homeowners should keep in mind:
- DO: Be Mindful About Food Particles
Food scraps may look small, but that kind of kitchen waste can easily build up in your lines and cause problems. Grease, in particular, is a bigger problem than many people realize; hot grease is a liquid, but it coats the pipes and solidifies as it cools. It’s better to pour any kind of grease into a container that you can trash once it’s cooled, rather than putting it down the sink.
- DON’T: Repeatedly Use Chemicals
It may be handy to pour a bottle of chemical pipe cleaner down a drain when it gets slow, but frequent use of those chemicals can actually damage pipes. They’re not good for the environment, either.
- DO: Use Shower Drain Screens
Almost all people lose significant amounts of hair when they shampoo, and it’s never a good idea to let that hair go down the shower drain. Screens that protect the drain (you just shake them out over the trash can to clean them) are a cheap solution, especially when you consider the cost of drain cleaning down the line.
- DON’T: Flush Anything But Toilet Paper
Plenty of products that are labeled as “flushables” can still cause problems depending on your sewer setup. The safest option is always to flush nothing but toilet paper.
- DO: Invest in Drain Inspections
If you keep getting clogs or sewer backups, it’s worth investing in a video inspection. This involves a plumbing contractor inserting a drain inspection camera into your system so you can figure out exactly what the problem is so you can be smarter about both repair and prevention.
How long has it been since you’ve gotten a drain cleaning? Do you have any tips on how to keep drains clear in between professional cleanings? Join the discussion in the comments.