A Homeowner’s Guide To Preventing Clogged Pipes

If you have ever had to approve an unexpected payment to a plumber due to a middle-of-the-night clogged pipe that couldn't wait till the next day, you'd probably prefer to avoid repeating that particular experience again in the future. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to keep your pipes running smoothly, as explained in the following sections. 

Verify What Can And Cannot Go Down The Pipes

One common mistake that people make is opting to flush paper towels down the toilet, just once, because a nearby child or pet had an accident. Another error that can quickly become problematic is not having a dedicated location for melted grease, cooking oil and the residue from cooking. Paper towels can easily get caught somewhere between the toilet and its final destination. In addition, the residue from cooking can clog your pipes, slowly building up over time.

Therefore, it's best to clarify with everyone that it's never okay to flush anything besides the obvious, pre-approved items and to protect your pipes whenever possible.  

Protect Your Pipes From Accidental Contact With Contaminants

One way to protect your sinks is with the use of a strainer to catch any foreign substances. You'll also want to find a safe way to store grease since you will need to divert it from entering the pipes, even if you're rinsing off cooked food. A heat-proof receptacle placed under the meat in the sink, for that rinsing, is a good idea, if you're not already doing so.  

Another way to prevent clogged pipes is very low-tech. It literally involves simultaneously flushing your pipes on a regular basis with clean water, as mentioned next.      

Flush The Pipes Out All At The Same Time At Regularly Scheduled Intervals

One easy way to discourage accumulated gunk from maintaining permanent residence in your pipes can be a bit of a group project, and doing this on a regular basis is often recommended. Fill each sink in your home to its full capacity, and at exactly the same moment, have different people throughout the home pull out the plugs. Since a large influx of water will be entering your healthy pipes at the same moment, it's not unusual for any residue that might already be clinging to the the walls of your pipes to get swept up in the deluge.   

Some homeowners have found that repeating that action with the toilets in the home is similarly useful. 

Know When To Consult With A Professional...And When Your Preventative Maintenance Isn't Safe

However, if you have reason to believe that one or more of the pipes in your home are clogged, especially if you think the sewer line is affected, you should have a plumber address that problem before proceeding with your DIY preventative maintenance. Otherwise, your simple endeavor might result in water coming up through the pipes, thus contaminating your home with everything that has recently been flushed down them.  

In conclusion, clogged pipes are a common and expensive problem that can result in the inability to use specific rooms in your home. Therefore, it is important for every homeowner to avoid that issue whenever possible, and the above advice will help you to do so. For additional advice, contact a plumber who offers drain cleaning services.