The drains in your home can become blocked by a foreign object, grease that settles in the trap, an excessive amount of solid waste, settling of particulate matter, a buildup of food and hair, biofilm or fungal growth. Regularly scheduled professional drain cleaning and maintenance will take care of all these concerns. But, how do you keep your drains running freely between scheduled appointments? There are steps you can take daily, weekly and monthly that will help prevent clogged drains.
Daily Maintenance: When it comes to daily maintenance of your drains and pipes, the little things matter.
Avoid pouring grease, fats and/or oils down the drain. Instead, save grease in a coffee can or cardboard milk container. Dispose of it in the trash.
Don’t wash coffee grounds, tea bags or egg shells down the drain. Put them in the compost.
Avoid flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet; no tampons, diapers, dental floss, wipes, cotton-tipped swabs, nail clippings and other garbage items.
Brush your hair immediately before showering or taking a bath to help remove loose hair. Dispose of the hair in the trash.
After showering or brushing your teeth, run some hot water down the drain.
Wash pets using a washtub instead of your bathtub or shower. Then empty the washtub outside to avoid pouring pet hair down your drain.
Weekly Maintenance: There are a number of simple steps you can take weekly to dislodge grease and debris lurking in your drain.
Test your drains weekly by filling the sink/tub, then removing the plug. If the water swirls down, all is well. If your sink/tub fills with bubbles, your drain needs attention.
Once a week, boil a pot of water. Pour ½ down the drain. Wait 5 minutes and pour the rest down the drain.
Throw a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow it with hot water. This will absorb odours.
Monthly Maintenance: A simple monthly routine can help keep drains and pipes open and avoid serious damage and costly repairs.
Lift up pop‐up stoppers in the bathroom sink, remove any debris and put it in the trash, then rinse the stopper off and put it back in the drain.
Remove the drain cover from your shower or bathtub drain and use a bent wire or a hair-catching brush (available where plumbing supplies are sold) to clear out any debris that has accumulated.
Combine 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of boiling water, and 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour the mixture down the drain. Cover the drain with the drain plug and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, flush the drain with more boiling water. This will soften up anything causing a blockage and jolt the debris loose, allowing it to wash down the drain.
If you have serious drainage problems, consider using an enzyme-based cleaner (not a chemical one) such as Green Gobbler Enzyme Drain Cleaner or Bio-Clean Septic Drain Bacteria. They contain bacteria and enzymes that eat away grease, toilet paper, sludge, food waste and other organic material, making drains run faster.
Refrain from using chemical clog removal products. They’re poisonous, give off harmful fumes, can corrode traps and drainpipes as well as harm the septic system.
Invest in a drain grate or screen for your sinks and tubs (available at hardware stores).
Install a lint catcher (available at hardware stores) on your washing machine hose to catch lint, bits of fabric and facial tissues.
Get a quality plunger and/or drain snake and learn how to use them in case of a serious clog.
Set your water pressure no higher than 80 psi.
Preventative maintenance steps and regular professional drain cleaning will help you prevent major plumbing issues in your home, save you money, reduce odours and improve the lifespan of your drains and pipes. If you experience plumbing difficulties, call your local plumber. They’re experts at eliminating clogs, fixing damaged drains, and keeping your plumbing system functioning properly.
For all your plumbing needs and for plumbing advice, call Calgary-based Plumbing Paramedics. Our plumbing technicians are friendly, informative and accommodating. Plumbing Paramedics hires only those we would trust in our own homes! Our certified plumbers can handle any plumbing task or problem!