Posted on: 24 May 2016
When you think about maintaining your plumbing, big actions like having your drains professionally cleaned and having your main sewer line may come to mind. But small, day-to-day actions are just as important when it comes to keeping your pipes in good shape. A lot of people unknowingly develop small habits that, unbeknownst to them, are terrible for their pipes. By nipping these habits in the bud, you can keep your pipes in better shape and ward off issues like clogs and leaks.
Bad habit: Letting hair go down the drain.
Do you shower over an open drain or wash your hair in a sink with an open drain? If so, a lot of hair is ending up in your pipes – and eventually it will lead to a clog. Purchase a plastic hair trap to set in the sink or tub drain before you wash your hair. It will catch the hair, and you can empty it daily. These hair traps are only a couple of dollars and can save you hundreds on plumbing repairs.
Bad Habit: Relying on chemical drain cleaners.
When the sink clogs or is draining slowly, do you reach for a bottle of drain cleaner? It seems like a simple fix, but it's actually quite dangerous. Drain cleaner can eat away at pipes over time, leading to leaks. If your sink clogs, try loosening the clog with a plunger. Or, you can pour baking soda and vinegar down it and hope the bubbles loosen the clog. If these measures don't work, call a plumber.
Bad Habit: Rinsing plates off in the kitchen sink.
Even if it's just a little ranch dressing or some pasta sauce left on your plate, you should scrape it into the trash rather than rinsing it off in your sink. Anything that's a little greasy can stick to the inside of your kitchen's drain pipes. And once the beginnings of a greasy clog are there, non-greasy particles can get stuck in the clog and cause it to grow larger.
Bad Habit: Flushing items other than toilet paper.
Those wipes or feminine hygiene products are not as "flushable" as the wrapper may claim. These items take a really long time to break down, so if one does get caught in your pipes, it will often stay there, blocking the flow of other waste, until it's physically removed. If it's not human waste or toilet paper, you have no business flushing it down the toilet.
Break the habits above, and your pipes (and your wallet) will thank you!
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