Plumbing Maintenance - Avoid Clogged Drains

There is never a good time to have a plumbing drain stoppage. We often hear the comment, “Why does this always happen on a weekend when we have friends over?…… or in the evening when we’re trying to relax?……….or in the morning when we’re trying to get ready? Why now? The answer is simple……..you're using facilities that have not been properly maintained or have done something to trigger the problem. That begs the question, WHY? Why when many of these "emergencies" are so easy to avoid do we choose to ignore basic maintenance and common sense behavior that can help us avoid them? Maybe it's because we just don't know any better. Well, if you’re reading this, that excuse is about to go away. Here are some tips that you can apply to help avoid that "plumbing drain emergency".

In the Kitchen

1. To dispose of food, turn the cold water on full, turn on the disposer, then insert the food. Turn the disposal off when the food is pulverized and the grinding chamber has emptied. Turn off the water. 2. Be sure your disposal is in good condition. Worn cutter blades will not efficiently pulverize the food and will cause problems. If your disposal is more than 5 years old, ask your plumber to inspect it for wear. 3. Don’t pour grease into drain……..use a separate container. Once the grease hardens, you can throw it in the trash.

In the Bathroom

Shower Drains

  • Long hair is the enemy of older, metal drains. Preventing hair from entering a drain will reduce the likelihood a stoppage will occur. This can be accomplished using a fine mesh hair screen available from your plumber or most hardware and home improvement stores. If you have persistent hair stoppage despite you best efforts, ask you plumbing professional about a permanent solution.
  • Check periodically that the toilet is giving a full and complete flush. Anything left behind is a sign of trouble.
  • Do not try to flush excessive amounts of toilet paper or feminine napkins or tampons.
  • If you have excessively hard stool, break it up before flushing.
  • For those of you with young children, guard against your child trying to flush foreign objects. It’s entertaining to watch the sense of accomplishment on a child’s face when they load the toilet up with rocks and pull the handle. Not so entertaining when the next user finds that the toilet won’t flush.
  • Lastly, if you live in the northern hemisphere, be sure your toilet flushes in a clockwise direction. Just kidding. :)

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