Finding Plumbing Issues Early

Take Good Care Of Your Drains

by Chris Bowman

As a homeowner, you want to have at least basic knowledge of the plumbing system in your home. One of the areas you should be the most concerned with is the drains in your bathroom and kitchen sinks. These drains are generally where homeowners see the most cause for concern. Caring for them properly, dealing with clogs correctly and preventing clogs all together will help ensure your plumbing stays in good working order. You will find helpful advice for your drains below: 

Caring for your drains to prevent clogs

Your drains are the very start of your plumbing system and what you put down them matters. Your kitchen sink should not be used as a catch-all for foods off your plates and in your pans. Oils and greases will harden along the pipes and continue to gather other debris put in the sink. This will lead to clogging you will need to remove.

Small pieces of soap and unused globs of toothpaste, as well as hair and whiskers will pose a risk to your bathroom sinks. These things can make their way down in the p-trap pipe under your sink. This pipe has a curved shape to it and when debris gets caught in it a clog will happen. The p-trap will then need to be removed and cleaned out to take care of the problem.

If you have a garbage disposal, you still want to avoid putting grease and oil down it. Also, you won't want to put fibrous foods like celery or lettuce down the disposal, as well as hard foods like eggshells or small pieces of bone.

Removing clogs

When a sink does get clogged, you can try to remove it by using a sink plunger. If this doesn't do the job, you can try putting very hot water forcefully down the drain. The next step will be to pour about a cup of vinegar down the drain and adding a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the mix. Don't be alarmed when the mixture causes fizzing in the drain, this is what breaks up the debris to get rid of the clog.

If you have tried all the above steps and still have no success in clearing up the clog, then you should call out a professional plumber. They may need to use a device called a plumber's snake to go down into the pipes and push the debris out of the way. Or, the situation may require them to work from the pipes outside of the house if the clog is deep in the system.

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