For people who do not like to get their hands dirty, a clogged drain can easily be their biggest nightmare. Having a sink or flush that is filled with filthy water that will not flow through is a much-dreaded problem. And trying to clean a clogged drain has to be the least glamorous job in the world. The best way to save yourself from this cringe-worthy task is to prevent your drains from clogging in the first place.
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Whoever said ‘prevention is better than cure’ must have been a wise man. It only takes a few good habits and the basic maintenance to keep your drains clog-free. This practice will, in turn, help keep the plumbing system is your house in good shape and save you money that you otherwise have to spend on hiring professional plumbers. To help you keep your plumbing system running smoothly, here is a list of ways to prevent clogs in your drains:
Use Drain Strainers
The easiest, most convenient way to stop debris from getting into drainpipes, is to collect it right in the sink. If you do not have a garbage disposal, prevent scrapes from flowing into drains by collecting them in a filter that you can place on the mouth of the drain.
These simple products are available in a large variety at any local hardware store. Take a picture of the drain with you to ensure you get the one that fits best. Leftover food is the biggest reason for Blocked Drains in your kitchen and this cheap and easy to fit product is the optimal solution to this problem.
Create a Compost Pile
Grinding up food waste in a disposer and then sending it down the drain is a convenient way of discarding food scrapes but even ground bits of certain items can cause a lot of trouble to your drains. Objects like banana peels, coffee grounds, vegetable leaves, eggshells, and potato skins can accumulate in pipe linings even when ground and form a thick layer that ultimately results in a clog.
The most ingenious way to overcome this issue to store food waste in a container and create a compost pile. Most building communities collect organic waste disposal, but if yours’ does not, you can always build your compost bin. Not only is this great for the overall health of your plumbing system but also the environment.
Keep Grease Away
Another product that is a major cause of drain clogs is grease. When you pour a volume of warm grease down your drain, it cools in the pipe and thickens to form a clog. Even if a grease block is small on its own, it will catch other debris, due to its sticky nature, resulting in a larger blockage.
The ideal prevention is not to pour any grease or oil down a drain. Instead, store it in a jar and dispose of with regular garbage.
Keep It Flowing
For kitchen sinks with the pre-installed garbage disposal, run a steady stream of cold water every time you wash your dishes. This will ensure that all waste material has been carried fully out of drain pipes into the drainage system.
Additionally, pour down a kettle of hot water down each sink in your house, once a week to melt away any residual particles. You can also use vinegar for this purpose as the acetic acid in the solution helps break down any clogs in their initial stage.
Catch That Hair
When it comes to drains in the bathroom, the most prominent enemy is hair. Each time you have to clean a slow drain in your shower, you are bound to find a clump of hair and bits of soap that looks like a huge spider.
To prevent this grimy, build-up, install a drain catcher onto your shower, tub drain and your bathroom sink. These products are available in different materials such as mesh and silicon. You can get a mesh screen that is placed atop the drain. Or you can install a new drain stopper that has a screen built-in. This way, you will only have to clean the drain catcher every once in a while and not the entire drain pipe.
Install A Lint Catcher
The drain of your washing machine is another point of concern as it can get blocked easily by lint, fabric bits, and even a stray sock. To prevent this from happening, install a lint trap on the end of your washing machine hose.
A lint trap made of mesh is readily available at most home and hardware stores, but you can even use an old nylon stocking for the same purpose. Just tie the stocking at the end of your washer’s discharge hose and use a zip-tie to secure it tightly.
As a rule of thumb, do not let any foreign objects enter your drain pipes. Be it hair, pieces of soap, fruit peels, or any sticky fluids. Ensure a steady flow by regularly cleaning drain covers and douse your drainage pipes with baking soda or vinegar every once in a while. Even though this regular cleaning may seem like a tedious task, remind yourself that it is better than plunging a blocked drain.