Maintenance is the best way to cut the costs of repairs and protect yourself from spending a fortune on plumbing emergencies. As the average cost of hiring a plumber ranges from $175 to $450 nationwide (HomeAdvisor), minimizing your risks is essential. Do not forget that you might also need to pay extra for emergency repairs, and it’s always important to get your plumbing problems solved as fast as possible. Otherwise, you risk water damage and mold, and that can cost tens of thousands to fix. In fact, being careless and allowing a mold infestation can dunk the value of your property and make it nearly impossible to sell.
Therefore, performing regular maintenance on your drains and pipes is vital if you want to prevent a disaster for your family budget. The frequency of drain cleaning depends on how often you use the bathtub/shower/sink. It’s best to treat the drains once every 1-3 months.
Drain Maintenance Guide: Cleaning and Prevention
1. Clean the drain weekly with hot water
Boil a large pot of water and pour a half of it down your drain while it’s scalding hot. Wait for about five minutes and pour the rest. This cannot replace a full-scale cleaning that uses specialized solutions. However, this is a great preventative measure that will help keep your drains clog-free.
At the least, you should use this method for the kitchen sink. It’s rather effective for removing grease from the inner surface of the pipes. Remember that this particular contaminant is one of the main causes of clogging and subsequent plumbing problems (Realtor).
2. Specialized cleaning every 1-3 months
To keep clean your drains properly, you should use either enzymatic cleaners or a simple mix of vinegar and baking soda. These solutions will help break down the buildup of organic matter within the pipes.
Such buildup causes clogs and can cause damage to the pipe itself. That’s why you need to not only use the cleaner but also inspect your plumbing regularly. As you can’t really see all of the sewer system, you should pay attention to the soil for signs of water and foul smell. Today you can save money when fixing such problems with the help of trenchless sewer repair. This kind of service prevents the need to dig up the pipes thus ruining your lawn. Remember that to ensure minimal repair costs, you need to address the issue at the first sign of trouble.
In order to clean your drains with the help of baking soda and vinegar, mix ½ cups of each and pour it down the drain with a pot of boiling hot water. Note that this kind of cleanser is rather mild. Therefore, you can use it anytime you feel an unpleasant smell from the drain. If it doesn’t solve the issue, call a plumber as it means you might need the repairs mentioned above.
3. Prevent clogging by controlling what you put inside the drain
There are some things that you shouldn’t put inside the drain by default:
- Cooking grease and fat
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves and bags
- Vegetable peels
- Personal hygiene items
- Grains and pasta
Grease is dangerous because it turns the insides of the pipes sticky, thus the rest of the items cling to it and form a clog. However, it’s impossible to keep your drain pipes completely clean, therefore, focus on reducing the number of items that can block them.
Remember to clean your toilet drain regularly as well. Never flush anything that can potentially block the drain. In fact, never flush anything that isn’t supposed to go there by default. Follow the specialized guide for toilet maintenance to prevent the most unpleasant part of plumbing problems that can occur in your home.