A Guide to Preventing Clogged Pipes
Clogged pipes are an inconvenience. They can also cause more serious plumbing problems at home, such as water backup leading to flooding or even pipe burst during cold weather. The most important thing to remember regarding pipes is to take care to maintain the drain as much as possible. Food items can easily get clogged in pipes causing obstructions and leading to plumbing problems. While the typical drain clog is a relatively minor inconvenience in the larger scale of household problems, it is important to recognize how to prevent drain problems at home in order to both keep your pipes in working condition and prevent costly plumbing repairs over time.
Clean Out Hair
One of the single biggest causes of drain clogs is hair. In bathroom sinks this is the most common cause of clogs and a primary reason so many plumbers stay in business. Fixing clogs often comes down to cleaning out the drain with a pipe snake, or in the case of serious clogs, removing the U-trap and manually cleaning out the clog. Keeping hair clear of the drain is an important ongoing part of pipe maintenance, but can be harder to keep up on that you might think. Hair accumulates quickly in a drain and can become a big problem quickly. Place a drain cover over the drain in bathtubs and prevent hair from running down the drain as much as possible to avoid clogs in the pipe.
Keep Out Obstructing Objects
Preserving your drains involves keeping foreign objects out. This includes everything that is not a food product for garbage disposals and virtually everything else for standard drains. Items that can fit down the drain can become trapped within the pipe and cause obstruction very easily. This may happen if you inadvertently drop something down the drain and don’t or can’t immediately retrieve it. For garbage disposals these obstructions can damage or destroy the mechanical disposal and lead to a clogged pipe.
With garbage disposals, it is especially important to take care to properly dispose of certain food items and avoid getting outside objects lodged in the disposal. If something does become stuck in the drain, remove the U-trap to extract the object. If it is in the garbage disposal, be sure to disconnect the power to avoid a very horrible accident while rooting around the drain. Most clogged drains can be avoided or easily resolved by keeping out excessive hair and avoiding getting objects lodged in the pipes.