If you use your household plumbing system regularly — really, who doesn’t? — you must practice preventive drain maintenance. Caring for your pipes properly will help prevent clogged drain, leaks, pipe corrosion, odors, and even more serious plumbing issues you’d probably prefer not to deal with. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Curious what you need to do to keep your drains in great condition? Below, the plumbing pros at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating in Wisconsin Rapids share essential drain maintenance tips every homeowner should know.

Tips for Keeping Your Toilet Drain Clear

If you’re like most people, your toilet drain probably sees more use than any other drain in your house. And while that drain is designed to accommodate a lot of, shall we say, stuff, that doesn’t mean you can toss just anything down there and flush it out of sight.

Rather, your toilet drain is only designed to handle human waste and paper products that are specifically designed to dissolve in water. If you’re flushing anything else down, you could be putting your plumbing at risk. To keep this oh-so-essential drain in great condition, here’s what you should do:

●        Avoid flushing hygiene products down the toilet; always toss them in the trash.

●        Don’t use “flushable” wipes; they’re not as flushable as their marketing makes them seem.

●        Don’t flush food, oil, grease, or other edible products.

●        If you have small children who like to flush random objects, install a child-proof lock on your toilet lid.

●        Flush the toilet regularly with hot water or a mix of baking soda and vinegar to give the drain a quick clean.

●        Schedule regular drain inspections and drain cleaning to keep the pipe clear and detect small issues early.

●        Call a plumber right away if you notice anything questionable going on with your toilet.

Kitchen Drain Maintenance Tips

Kitchen drains are notorious for developing clogs, most of which are the result of grease and food particles coagulating over time. And here’s the crazy thing: Households with garbage disposals are especially prone to clogged drains even though the disposal is supposed to help prevent them from happening!

Whether you’re a plain drain Jane household or you have kitchen sink disposal, heed these tips to keep your kitchen drains flowing freely:

●        If you don’t have a disposal, don’t let food slip down your drain. Period.

●        Disposal or no, oils and greases never belong in your drain. Always pour oily or fatty substances in the trash.

●        If you own a disposal, check out these things you should never put down it.

●        Schedule professional drain cleaning at least every two years to keep the pipe clean and clear.

●        Periodically flush the sink drain with a mixture of baking soda and warm water or pour boiling hot water down the drain to help remove stuck-on residue from the interior of the pipe.

Shower & Bathtub Drain Care

Showers and bathtubs are notorious for developing one kind of drain clog: hairballs. But with a couple simple tools and little diligence, you can avoid shower and bathtub drain issues almost entirely. Here’s what you need to do:

●        Install mesh hair traps or strainers on all your shower and bathtub drains.

●        Clean hair out of the strainer after every shower or bath.

●        Periodically examine the interior of the drain opening for hair. If you notice any, put on a pair of gloves, grab some tweezers or needle-nose pliers and pull those strands out of there.

●        Schedule bathroom drain cleaning at two-year intervals.

●        If you’re dealing with unexplained slow drains, get a camera drain inspection promptly to determine if a clog the culprit or a more serious issue is the source of the problem.

Need Drain Cleaning in Wisconsin Rapids?

If your household drains are on the fritz, let our team at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating help you out! Our plumbers have over 85 years of combined experience and we offer 24-hour emergency service for your convenience. We serve the central Wisconsin area, including Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau, Stevens Point, Marshfield, and beyond, so get in touch when you need a plumber you can trust.

To get started, give us a call at 715-421-1800 or request an estimate. Any questions or concerns? Send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.