When it comes to care for your home’s drain pipes, sometimes the most basic, seemingly normal practices account for most damage and clogging to your systems. What you don’t know about proper home plumbing care can actually have severe implications on your drains.
Fortunately, correcting these poor behaviors can be simple; all it takes is a little plumbing know-how, such as understanding how your drain pipes and drain traps function, and some basic drain clearing tools.
Here is common, unhealthy habits of everyday drain use, as well as preventative steps you can take to correct these behaviors.
Your Garbage Disposal… Isn’t a Garbage Can
One of the most common, and harmful, behaviors countless homeowners make every single day deals with how they choose to treat their garbage disposal units; they flush anything and everything through their garbage disposals, with no regard for what exactly they’re putting through them, or how those contents affect the disposal blades and drain pipes.
Poor garbage disposal care is one of the leading causes of clogging drains, as these disposal units are much more compatible with certain food products over others; others that actually harm these units, and result in stubborn, damaging clogs deep in your drain system. For instance, running the following through your home’s garbage disposal can be detrimental to its performance, and result in frustrating clogs in short time:
- Animal bone and cartilage
- Overly fibrous or starchy food products, which can jam in disposal blades
- Expandable food goods, such as pasta and rice
- Cooking grease, fat and oils
- Food product skins and loose peels
Foregoing Inspections Regularly
Another all-too-common mistake we see homeowners make regularly with their drain pipes is avoiding both self- and professional inspections habitually. Not only can brief, self-inspections of your home drain system help you identify minor plumbing issues before they turn into major drain pipe disasters, but they can also help you save money by limiting the extent of pipe problems.
Here at Mister Plumber, we recommend performing self-inspections of your pipes at least once per month, and having a professional inspection completed at least annually.
Professional, specialist inspections can bring to light the less noticeable, but equally harmful, pipe damages and performance-ruining clogs in your drains; abnormalities that often go unnoticed to the untrained eye.
Getting In Over Your Head With DIY Maintenance
While you may think DIY repairs, just by their very nature, are helpful to your drains, going about DIY drain cleaning underprepared can actually have adverse effects on your drains, and leave you stuck in a worse position than when you started. Among the drain cleaning tips in this article, the following is not one to take lightly: don’t go about DIY repairs and de-clogging unless you have the right tools and know-how to use them correctly.
Fortunately, most DIY drain cleaning tools can be picked up at your local home improvement store for more-than reasonable prices; these tools include:
- Metal files
- Pipe wrenches
- Basin wrenches
- Hex-shaped wrenches
- Plumber’s snakes
- A hacksaw
- Even standard plungers, and sink plungers, can be pivotal tools in ridding your drain of clogs
Chemical Cleaning Products: Helpful or Harmful?
While it may come as a surprise, using chemical, commercial cleaning products on your drains can actually do more harm than good, and result in more expensive and thorough repair needs later on. The very ways these products work to clean drains can actually be counter-productive, and damage the inner walls of your home drain pipes.
The reactions that make commercial drain cleaners work are, in fact, corrosive to pipes after extensive use, and can result in completely avoidable drain catastrophes down the line. Instead, we recommend trying homemade mixture solutions, such as baking soda and vinegar mixtures, which perform the same functions as chemical cleaners, but without the hazards of corrosion.
Not Knowing When to Ask for Help
Above all else, however, the most common behavior that leads to pipe clogging and unnecessary damage is refusing to ask for help when you need. When you sense situations getting out of hand with your drain cleaning needs, don’t hesitate to call a local plumbing professional to help see to your drain care needs.
If you are still looking for trusted plumber, Mister Plumber in Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York specializing sewer repair, upgrade waterline, water service upgrade, drain cleaning, backwater valve installation, lead pipe replacement, re-piping and emergency plumbing, Mister Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates.