Drain clogs can be a nightmare to deal with. They can cause wastewater to back up into sinks and bathtubs, causing water damage. They can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.

A simple preventative maintenance routine can go a long way to avoid the problem of slow drains and clogged pipes. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Avoid Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain

Grease and oil are one of the main causes of clogged drains. They are liquid when warm but solidify as they cool-inside your pipes, causing tough residue that can clog and damage your home’s plumbing and the sewer system.

Instead of dumping cooking grease down the drain, put it into a container when still hot and wait for it to cool before throwing it away. You can also mix it with an absorbent material such as coffee grounds or cat litter, pour it into a disposable container and place it in the freezer until you have enough to dispose of it properly.

To avoid grease clogs, dump a cup of baking soda into each preheated drain before running hot water to have it fizz and clear out any residual grease. You can also use a chemical drain cleaner such as Green Gobbler, which contains biological enzymes that break down fats, oils and grease and keeps them from sticking to the pipes and drain lines.

Keep Hair Out of Your Drains

A clogged drain can be a real plumbing nightmare. It can lead to costly repairs and even cause serious damage to your pipes. Clogs often stem from hair, soap residue, and other items. However, many clogs can be prevented with the right preventative maintenance.

Make sure to educate all members of your household on what can and cannot go down the drain. Also, installing a drain strainer and regularly cleaning your drains can help prevent clogs. Another good preventative measure is to flush your drains with hot water once a week. This will help dissolve and melt grease. Just remember to use caution when handling boiling water. Another easy tip is to brush your hair before showering. This will remove a lot of loose hair before it goes down the drain. You can also consider wearing a shower cap or pulling it back into a bun or ponytail. This will make a huge difference in keeping your drains clean.

Install a Strainer

A strainer is one of the best ways to keep your pipes clear of sediment, hair, rust, pipe scale and other debris. Strainers are designed to fit over the drain opening and can be purchased in a variety of sizes to match your sink.

When installing a Y strainer, it is important to ensure that the flow of debris is directed downwards. It is important to install the strainer with the pocket pointing in this direction so that any debris will not be drawn back into the pipeline during low flow conditions.

It is also important to decide how the strainer will be sealed. Plumber’s putty is a common choice but it can weaken plastic sinks and stain stone or other porous materials, so it may be better to choose silicone sealant. Once the seal is established, you can insert the strainer onto the drain and secure it with a lock nut. A rubber gasket and paper washer can then be added to ensure a watertight seal.

Clean Your Drains Regularly

Clogged drains are a major home plumbing problem that can lead to slow drainage, foul odors, and water backups. They can also cause serious damage to your pipes if they are left unaddressed for too long. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid these issues with proper drain maintenance tips like installing a strainer and using natural drain cleaners. It is best to clean your drains weekly, monthly, or yearly to ensure they are working correctly and to limit the risk of a clog.

Always avoid putting certain foods down your drains such as eggshells, coffee grounds, peanut butter, or rice because they can harden and stick to the sides of your pipe. Instead, invest in a drain cleaner with a biological formula such as Green Gobbler that will break down grease and oil while deodorizing the area. It is also a good idea to keep a cup plunger and a snake on hand in case of a stubborn clog that you can’t fix on your own.

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