Functional sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets are often taken for granted. Some homeowners even throw in anything that can fit in the drains. If you’re one of these people, you should know that lack of maintenance and improper use of your fixtures is likely to cause plumbing emergencies. Aside from the inconveniences from these emergencies, you may end up with costly repairs and replacements. Problems like leaks and bursting pipes can run up higher utility bills as well.

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent such problems from happening. The first thing you should do is realize that some substances aren’t meant to be disposed through the drains.

Proper Disposal

Grease and ground coffee are among the top culprits behind clogged kitchen drains. Food bits are another cause, in case your sink isn’t connected to a disposal system.

To prevent clogged drains, dispose food bits and ground coffee before putting and washing used dishes on the sink. You can actually collect the ground coffee on a separate container so you can reuse them as garden mulch. As for the food bits, you can dispose them along with other kitchen waste.

Disposing oils require a bit more work. You’ll need to collect them first using an empty milk carton or any other container. Once full, you can add them on your bag of kitchen waste. However, this won’t totally prevent grease buildup inside your pipes. The buildup may be caused by the oils in your kitchen and dining ware.

Getting Rid of Grease and Mineral Buildup

Mineral buildup tends to happen if you have hard water in your home. Hard water is known for having more minerals than the usual tap water. It’s best resolved by hiring a professional to install a water softener.

The accumulation of grease and minerals inside your pipes is difficult to detect. Nevertheless, pouring hot water down your drain helps slow down their buildup. But if your pipes are made from PVC, avoid this trick because the heat may weaken your pipes. Instead of hot water, you may clean the pipes using a cup of baking soda.

Mesh Strainers

Most drains already have built-in strainers. However, if you want to make them more efficient, you should install mesh or plastic strainers on top of them. The additional strainers help filter out items that aren’t supposed to be thrown into the drains. They make drain cleanup easier as well. Don’t forget to clean these strainers, too.

Plungers and Plumber’s Snakes

Plungers and plumber’s snakes are essential tools for plumbing maintenance. You should have at least three types of plungers: one for your toilets, one for showers and tubs, and one for sinks.

To use a plunger in tubs and sinks, you have to cover the overflow outlets first. Afterwards, open the shower or faucet. Put the plunger on the drain and make quick plunges.

To use a plumber’s snake, push it down the drain until you feel a resistance. Twist the snake until it gets freed.

Signs

It’s unpleasant to deal with slow-draining sinks every time you wash. It may even come with gargling noises. Consider these as signs of potential problems in your pipes rather than just minor irritants. If unclogging your sink using plunger, plumber snake, or hot water is ineffective, it might be best to hire professional plumbing inspection and repair.

When Not to DIY

Mending a broken pipe on your own may cause further damages. Instead of doing it on your own, let a pro find out what the root of the problem is and fix it.

Proper maintenance requires some work. However, it can make your plumbing system last for a long time. To further prevent emergencies, you can call Spartan Plumbing for regular inspection and maintenance.