Clogged drains and broken pipes are some of the worst home plumbing mishaps homeowners can face. If left unchecked, a clogged drain can become a major problem that costs hundreds to thousands of dollars to resolve. Fortunately, there are some do-it-yourself and preventative measures you can take to keep your drains running smoothly.
Use Bacteria in Your Main Sewer Pipe
Adding bacteria to your main sewer line helps break down organic matter and prevents a clog from forming. It’s a non-corrosive way to clear your sewer system of buildup, and it can also help eliminate odors from the pipes and from your septic tank.
It’s best to apply the bacteria when you aren’t using the main drain, because it gives it time to work on the buildup. This also allows you to avoid accidentally putting chemicals down your drain, which can be dangerous and harmful to your health.
Clean Wipes & Paper Towels Aren’t the Answer for Clogged Bathroom Sinks or Toilets
You’ll want to keep cotton products like wipes, diapers and feminine hygiene products out of your toilet, as these materials don’t break down and can easily clog up your toilet’s drain. And you should never flush tampons or baby wipes down the drain, since they’ll grow 10 times their size when they absorb fluid, making them a serious threat to your home’s pipes.
Other items to stay away from include pet waste and cat litter, which can damage your home’s drainage pipes and cause blockages. It’s a good idea to have a litter box and train your cats to use it, as this will minimize the amount of waste going down your pipes.
Don’t pour fats, oils or grease down your drain either! These substances can harden in your pipes, causing a clog that is difficult to remove without the help of a professional plumber.
The best way to avoid a clog is to pour any leftover cooking oil or fat into a container and then into the trash. You can then pour a little hot water down the drain to melt the oil/fat into a liquid that won’t clog your pipes.
If you’re unsure of where to start, check out our guide to the common causes of clogged drains. These tips can help you keep your pipes working as smoothly as possible and can prevent a costly plumbing repair call in the future!
A Blocked Drain Will Cause Backflow Across Your Home
If all of the drains in your home are slowing down, this could be a sign that you have a clogged sewer line. This is especially common in older homes, where sewer lines are more prone to clogs and backups.
It’s important to identify the problem as soon as possible, as this will allow you to fix it before it gets worse. If you do notice that your drains are backing up, turn off the water in your home and call a plumber or drain specialist.