Home Maintenance Series – Clearing Clogged Drains and Preventing Future Clogs

In the article below by Joe Bousquin, you will get a few tips that will help you save a few extra dollars that could really come in hand elsewhere. Don’t take your plumbing system for granted, take care of it before you have to start replacing it. You can read this article and many more on HouseLogic.com.

Don’t use chemicals to clear clogged drains. Use a plumber’s snake and follow these tips on preventing clogged drains.

Clogged drains are the most common home plumbing problem, but you probably don’t think much about the network of pipes inside your home’s walls until a drain stops working. Clogged drains are a hassle, but easily cleared.

However, you can avoid the hassle by paying attention to what goes down your drain. A little care prolongs the life of plumbing pipes, prevents leaks, and avoids costly repairs.

Avoid chemical drain-clearing products

You can buy chemicals to clear clogged drains, but these products sometimes do more harm than good. They can actually erode cast-iron drainpipes. 

And because they typically don’t remove the entire clog, the problem is likely to recur, causing you to use the chemicals repeatedly. The caustic action of chemicals may eventually wear away the insides of pipes, causing leaks.

Better to hire a plumber to snake the drain (usually $85 to $325) and completely remove the chunk of hair or grease that’s plugging the line.

Better still (and cheaper!), pick up a manually operated augur, or snake, of your own, for about $15 at the hardware store. Or, rent an electric snake for about $30 for a half day, and try clearing the clogged drain yourself.

Prevent clogged drains

Clogged drains aren’t just nuisances. Backed-up water puts added pressure on wastepipes, stressing them and shortening their lifespan. To avoid clogged drains:

  • Keep food scraps out of kitchen drains. Scrape food into the trash before doing dishes—even if you have a disposal—and never put liquid grease down the drain; pour it into a sealable container to put in the garbage after it cools.
  • Keep hair out of bathroom drains. Install screens over drains in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can every few weeks to prevent buildups.
  • Keep anything but sewage and TP out of toilets.

Keep your sewer lines or septic tank clear

If you have municipal sewers, hire a plumber to snake your main sewage cleanout every few years. This will cost $135 to $600, and will remove tree roots that inevitably work their way into these pipes—leading to messy sewage backups.

If you have a septic system, get the tank pumped out every three to five years for $75 to $350; it’ll be more for larger tanks.

A former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, Joe Bousquin writes about housing, construction, and home improvement. The galvanized steel water pipes in his 1930 home in Sacramento, Calif., have all been replaced with copper.

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
This entry was posted in Energy Efficiency, Home Buyers Series, Home Maintenance Series, Home Owners, Home Safety Series, Home Sellers Series, Real Estate, Safety and Security Series and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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