Do you have a plumbing repair kit in your home to make emergency repairs quickly? Having everything you need in one bucket or box can help you eliminate some of the stress that comes with plumbing emergencies. On this blog, you will find out what you should have in your kit and some basic tips about making these repairs to avoid further damage to your home. It is my hope that you will find more than enough information to keep your home dry, your drains draining, and a peace of mind and lack of stress to tackle these dreaded household occurrences.
As the well-known saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". In the case of plumbing disasters, making a few simple changes in your home and lifestyle could save you time and money. Here are three things you can do to prevent clogged drains.
Manage Hair Shedding
Hair is one of the most common causes of clogged drains. It gets trapped in the pipes and slowly builds up into a giant hair ball that catches soap, skin cells, toothpaste residue, and other yucky stuff to create a disgusting monstrosity that blocks the free flow of water. So managing hair shedding can go a long way towards keeping your pipes clear.
Use drain guards in your bathtub and sink to capture hair before it goes down the pipe. These are a type of mesh screen that lets water flow through but captures other items you don't want going down the drain, like hair or soap chips.
Another thing you can do is make a habit of brushing your hair before washing it. This will remove lose strands that would have gone down the drain had you simply just jumped in the shower and started washing away. If you have pets, either wash them outside or in a washtub rather than bathing them in the bathroom tub or shower. You can also reduce the amount of hair they shed during bath time by brushing them first.
Go Easy on the Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal is not a catchall, but many people treat the appliance like a trash can and put things in it that can actually lead to pipe clogs. For instance, some people pour coffee grounds down the garbage disposal under the mistaken impression that they help keep the pipes clean. In fact, coffee grounds can actually cause clogs because they tend to clump together and capture other sticky stuff like leftover food particles.
You can save energy, minimize the risk of clogs, and reduce the amount of waste that gets taken to landfills by composting your organic materials. Creating a compost pile is very easy. You just need a spot in your backyard that won't get disturbed by pets or animals, and you can either use a compost bin to hold the organic waste or corral the area off using fencing and fill it with layers of straw and soil.
The organic materials you add to the pile will break down over time, and you can use the result in your own garden or have it picked up by a local community garden club or co-op.
Regularly Clean Pipes
Despite your best efforts, unwanted things will go down the drain that will stick to the pipes and slowly buildup into a clog. However, you can perform some preventative maintenance on your pipes to keep them clear. At least once per month or so, clean your drains using a combination of 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, and 1 cup of hot water.
Pour the baking soda in the drain first and then follow up with the vinegar and hot water. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the solution to bubble and break down the organic material in the pipes and then follow up with a pot of boiling water. If you want to freshen your pipes, squeeze a couple of fresh lemons into the boiling water before pouring it down the drain.
This method will help keep your drains clear without the use of harsh chemicals that could actually hurt your pipes.
Preventing clogs does require a little bit of a lifestyle change and some diligent effort. However, as noted previously, you can save yourself a lot of frustration by taking these simple steps. If you do develop a clog in your pipes that you can't seem to get rid of, contact a plumber, such as Doctor Fix-It, for assistance.