Having a clogged drain in your home is frustrating. Many homeowners believe they can clean the drain out themselves to save time and money. Knowing what you should and should not attempt at home – and why – will help you make the best decisions. Here are the dos and don’ts of cleaning out a drain so you don’t cause more damage.
- Run your garbage disposal regularly. Even if you aren’t putting food down your disposal every day, you should run it to prevent corrosion and rust from forming. Aim to run the disposal with water for at least a few seconds daily.
- Use caps and drain filters. The easiest (and cheapest) way to keep your drains clean is to install cap or drain filters. These keep large materials like hair and food from getting into your drains and you can empty them out whenever they collect debris. Caps and filters are very inexpensive and can save you a lot of money by preventing clogs.
- Have your sewer lines jetted by a pro. If you have recurrent clogs, it’s probably time to have them deep cleaned as the clog could actually be in the sewer line. Hydro-jetting provides a long-lasting solution using high pressure water to clear out whatever’s causing the clog. There are sewer jets available for rent, but this is a task best left to the pros and you can easily damage sewer lines if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Hire a pro to snake your drains. If you have clogs in your toilets or drains from hair, debris, or other junk, they likely need to be snaked. Don’t try doing this yourself as you cause costly damage to your pipes. A drain snake is basically a steel cable and if it snaps, it can send slivers of steel in all directions, causing damage and possible injury.
- Throw grease, food bones, or high-carb foods down the disposal. Grease becomes hard when it cools and is one of the top culprits when it comes to kitchen sink clogs. Food bones are also a no-no because they can damage both your disposal and pipes. Anything high carb, like rice or pasta, will expand when mixed with water and can easily clog up your drain.
- Use liquid drain cleaners. While using liquid drain cleaners is tempting and can lead to some quick results, they can be very tough on your drainage system. If you have clogs, you might as well invest upfront in a professional solution that you know will be effective and safe for your system.
- Use hot water or vinegar to try to unclog a drain. Another quick and tempting solution for a clog is to use vinegar or hot water to dislodge the clog and get things moving again. Though they may seem safer than drain cleaners, they can also cause rust and other damage to your pipes.
Keeping your drains clear is an important part of home maintenance and something you and your family can do on a regular basis. However, when clogs happen, it’s almost always best to have the issue handled by a professional like those at ASAP. Have any questions about plumbing issues in your home? Give us a call today!