They’re not the most impressive pieces of plumbing equipment, but they’re definitely indispensable. Your home’s drains allow water and waste to flow out of the sink, tub or shower and down through the sewer pipes, either into a septic tank, or into the city sewer system. However, over time, your drains can become clogged, leading to slow draining, or even complete blockage. The good news is that a few simple tips will help you keep them clean and clear.
Don’t Pour Grease into the Sink
This is probably one of the most frequently repeated pieces of advice, but it’s amazing how many people either don’t know it or don’t follow it. Keep grease far, far away from your sinks. You should never, ever pour grease into the sink drain. It should be disposed of somewhere else (like your trashcan after it cools), and then the pan or pot should be wiped out before being washed. Grease might be liquid when it’s hot, but as soon as it cools, it solidifies. When this happens in your drain and pipes, it leads to buildup and clogs.
Cover Your Drains with a Screen
You’ve probably seen them for the kitchen sink, but you can also buy them for use in the bathroom sink, the tub and the shower. These handy screens fit right into the drain and help prevent hair and other debris from being rinsed down with the water. When you’re done using the sink or tub, just empty the screen into the trash. It’s amazing how much trouble this one simple tip can save you over time.
Rinse with Hot Water When You’re Done
Whether you’re brushing your teeth or preparing dinner, make sure that you rinse the sink with hot water when you’re done. Hot water helps keep oils and grease liquid for longer periods, allowing it to potentially move out of the plumbing and into the sewage. You should also consider letting the bath run for a few minutes after you get out to wash away hair and oil from your body.
Brush Your Hair Before Washing
This one might sound a little odd at first, but it can help a great deal. By brushing your hair thoroughly before getting into the shower, you can remove the majority of loose hairs so that they go into the trash when you clean your brush, rather than down the drain where they’ll just start forming clogs.
Invest in a Drain Snake
While they’re frequently used by professional plumbers, drain snakes can be purchased at your local hardware store for very little. Buy one and get to know how to use it. This can make a big difference in your ability to clear clogs and save yourself some time and hassle.
With these simple tips, you should be able to keep your home’s drains clean, clear and running freely.