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Five Drain Maintenance Tasks for Every Homeowner

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No one wants to deal with clogged drains in their home. Fortunately, there are maintenance tasks that can help you avoid the issue.

1. Pipe Inspections

Periodic drain pipe inspections ensure you catch small issues before they become big, expensive leaks. A drain service can send a camera down the drain pipes to inspect for issues like developing clogs, tree root incursion, or damage to the pipe itself. If problems are found, you can take steps to repair the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future.

2. Trap Clearing

Under every sink in your home is a J-shaped pipe bend called a trap. These traps also exist in floor and tub drains but are more difficult to access. Food, hair, biofilm, and other debris can collect in the trap, which can lead to a slow drain or eventual clog. Once every few months to a year, remove the trap and clean it out. To do so, simply shut off water to the sink, place a bucket under the trap, and remove the pipe with a pipe wrench. Empty and wipe out the trap before replacing it.

3. Weekly Flushing

You can further minimize drain clogs both in pipes and in the traps by flushing them out weekly. The simplest way to flush your drains is to boil a pot of boiling water and then pour it down the drain. The hot water dissolves biofilm and soap residue, while the volume forces just about everything through the drain line. If you are dealing with a lot of soap scum or grease, you can first rinse the drain by pouring vinegar down it, then flush it with boiling water.

4. Annual Cleaning

An annual cleaning of your drains, particularly your main drain, can be one of the most effective ways to prevent clogs. Your drain clearing service will likely use a hydro jet for the process. This means that a high-pressure jet of water is sent down the main drain to flush out any developing clogs, tree roots, and pipe residue. If hydro jetting isn't used, then the service will likely snake out the drain using a large mechanical pipe auger.

5. Root Management

For homes with trees growing on or near the drain line, root management is a must. Annual drain cleaning will help prevent root incursion into the drain, but it may not be enough depending on how quickly the roots grow. There are chemical treatments available that you can flush down the drain periodically to prevent root growth. Your drain service can recommend the best type for your needs.

Contact a drain maintenance service if you would like more assistance with your home's drain care.