Most homeowners never think twice about their household drains — until something goes wrong, that is. Though a licensed plumber can quickly remedy most plumbing problems, having to call in the professionals time and time again can be a major hassle. At Steve’s Plumbing & Heating, we know what a disaster a severely clogged drain or a pipe leak can create, so today, we’re here to help you avoid those situations. When you practice the following six drain maintenance tips, you’ll help keep your plumbing in tip-top shape.

Use Drain Strainers

If you’re not already using drain strainers in your kitchen sink, shower, or bathtub, now is the perfect time to start. Strainers provide an extra layer of protection against drain clogs because they catch all manner of solid material that may flow into the drain.

Despite constant diligence, it’s almost impossible to prevent food morsels, hair, and other small items from washing into the drain along with the water flow. As those particles accumulate within the drain, they can slow normal water flow through the pipe and cause drain clogs. Installing a drain strainer significantly cuts down on particle accumulation within your pipes and lessens your chances of needing emergency drain cleaning.   

Flush Your Drains

Any time you believe oil or grease have made their way into your drains, be sure to run hot water through the pipe to break down any remaining residue. Keep in mind this trick won’t eliminate oily buildup from within your pipes. But, if you routinely run hot water through the drain after washing greasy dishes or cooking large meals, you’ll cut down on the overall buildup considerably.

You may also want to consider cleaning your drains regularly by pouring one-half cup of baking soda into each drain followed by one-half cup of vinegar. Performing this drain-cleaning hack will help reduce buildup within the pipe and maintain efficient water flow.  

Insulate Your Pipes Against the Cold

This may not be a drain maintenance tip per se, but it’ll definitely help save your plumbing. We all know Wisconsin has some of the harshest weather around, and when the temperatures drop, if your pipes aren’t properly insulated, they can suffer. That’s because when water freezes, it expands. And when standing water within the pipe expands significantly, it creates tremendous pressure, which may result in leakage or bursting.

If you’re not sure how to insulate your pipes against the cold, contact a plumbing professional who can advise you on the best course of action or perform the job for you.

Have Leaky Pipes Repaired Immediately

A minor pipe leak will only grow more severe with time, so as soon as notice damp spots or dripping water, contact your plumber for repairs. Less noticeable signs of leaky pipes include:

●        Higher than usual water bills

●        Mold or mildew development around the house

●        Unusual odors

●        Pipe discoloration

●        Weak water flow

●        Bubbling wall or ceiling paint

Don’t Use Your Garbage Disposal As a Trash Bin

Your garbage disposal might be a convenient tool for getting rid of food scraps, but that doesn’t mean it can handle everything you toss down it. Garbage disposals are specifically designed for grinding certain types of waste, and though they’re built to handle foodstuffs, they’re not equipped to handle the following foods:

●        Coffee grounds

●        Eggshells

●        Fibrous vegetables

●        Starchy foods

●        Bones

●        Nutshells and fruit pits

Even if the blades partially pulverize the above food items, eventually, the disposal will clog, jam, or peter out completely. Not to mention, if the disposal cannot fully grind what you toss into it, those solid objects will still wash down the drain and form a drain clog. Unless you’re thrilled by the idea of paying for both plumbing repair and garbage disposal repair, only use your disposal per manufacturer instructions.

Have Routine Plumbing Inspections & Drain Cleaning

Routine drain inspections and drain cleaning can alert you to minor problems before they become major issues, so once per year, contact your plumber for routine maintenance. During a plumbing inspection, your plumber observes the internal environment of your pipes with a specialized camera, which allows him to view any corrosion, deterioration, damage, or buildup.

After the inspection, he’ll have a comprehensive understanding of your plumbing’s health and will know exactly where to clean to produce the best result. Ideally, you should have a full plumbing inspection and drain cleaning once per year.

Looking for Professional Drain Cleaning? Contact Steve’s Plumbing & Heating Today

Dealing with persistent drain clogs that just won’t seem to budge? Then it’s time to give us a call at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating. Our team of technicians has over 85 years of combined experience, and because we offer the best guarantees in the business, when we clean your drains or perform plumbing repairs, you can trust we’ll do the job right. If you live in or near Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Marshfield, or Wausau and would like to learn more about our services, feel free to contact our team for more information or to schedule your service appointment. For your convenience, you can also request your estimate online!