The plumbing drain pipes in your house take a lot of abuse on a regular basis. Everything that you flush or send down the sink drains end up in your home's primary drain pipe. This can often lead to clogs from the accumulation of debris, grease and hair in the pipe. The best way to avoid a complete disaster with your home's plumbing system is to protect the pipes from potential contaminants. Here's a look at some of the things that you should be attentive to so you can protect your drains from unnecessary damage.
Invest in Barrier Protection
Drain screens serve as a great barrier to keep debris and particles out of your drains. This can reduce the risk of clogs from things like hair and other debris. You can find drain screens in many forms, including those that lay flat over floor drains and designs that sit inside a recessed drain. If you add these screens, though, keep them cleaned out regularly. Otherwise, the water won't be able to drain effectively.
When it comes to drain screens, one frequently overlooked area for screen installation is the washing machine. Remember that your washing machine's drain hose is where all of the wash water flows through. You can keep small debris from the clothing from ending up in your drain pipes by installing a lint filter assembly on that hose. You'll just have to keep it cleaned out regularly.
Keep The Grease Away
One of the most common household drain problems that occurs is an accumulation of grease in the pipes. This happens because many homeowners dispose of grease by pouring it down the drain. Even if you follow it with hot water, that grease is eventually going to cool, causing it to solidify inside the pipes. This will create a buildup of grease along the inside surface of the pipes. Don't put any grease products in your drain. Instead, pour it into something disposable, like an empty aluminum can. That way, you can throw it away when the grease cools and hardens. As an alternative, if it's bacon grease, consider saving it for cooking later. Bacon grease can be used in place of other oils or butter in skillet cooking and similar dishes, and it adds a unique flavor to the dish.
Don't Neglect the Disposal
A garbage disposal is a convenient addition to most any kitchen, and it can make it easier to deal with food debris. Unfortunately, a garbage disposal can also be a source of problematic plumbing issues if it isn't properly maintained. When a garbage disposal clogs up, it can lead to troublesome water backups in your sink and may even require complete removal of the unit to clear things out.
Don't ever put food down the disposal without turning on the water in the sink and running the disposal. Then, leave the water running for several seconds after you hear the active grinding sounds stop. Then, shut off the disposal and turn the water off. This ensures that the food doesn't build up on the blades, jamming the disposal. The running water will flush away any residual particles. Additionally, never put anything stringy (like celery) down the disposal. Other taboo items include coffee grounds, egg shells and fruit peels. These things can get lodged in the blades and bind up the system.
Sometimes, the things that homeowners do without thinking are the ones that cause the most damage to the drain pipes and plumbing system. With the tips presented here, you can avoid some of the most common drain problems. For more advice, talk with a local plumber, such as Doctor Fix-It, who can evaluate your home for other areas of concern.