How to Protect Your Home’s Drains

Poorly cared-for drains are the root cause of many common plumbing problems homeowners face. These issues take the form of bad smells, hovering flies, slow-draining bathtubs and showers, jammed garbage disposals, and more. Fortunately, there are several easy steps you can take to keep your home’s drains healthy.

1. Add drain guards to your kitchen and bathrooms.

Drain guards are like your drainage system’s first line of defense against potential clogs. In the kitchen, they prevent large scraps of food from entering your pipes. For your bathrooms, it’s important to get drain guards that will be effective at stopping hair, which tends to tangle with itself and other substances and cause blockages. To get the most bang for your buck, stick with drain guards made of durable materials like stainless steel, metallic mesh, or silicone.

2. Use liquid soap rather than bar soap.

Wait a minute--soap can cause clogs? That’s right. Bar soap is infamous for forming stubborn soap scum on shower and tub walls, and that same scum will coat the inside of your pipes. If it’s allowed to build up and combine with other clog-causers, you could wind up with a nasty blockage.

3. Only feed your garbage disposal small, manageable food scraps.

Don’t be fooled by its name: your garbage disposal unit is not a garbage can. To keep it from jamming, clogging, or breaking, never “feed” it any of the following items:

  • Starchy vegetables (like potatoes)

  • Stringy or fibrous vegetables (like celery)

  • Vegetable or fruit skins or peels

  • Bone, fat, or gristle

  • Shellfish shells

  • Eggshells

  • Seeds, nuts, or pits

  • Coffee grounds

  • Food that expands (like rice)

4. Never pour oil, grease, or fat down your drains.

Even though it might seem convenient to pour these substances down the drain while you wash dishes, it’s better to dispose of them directly into the garbage. Fats, oils, and grease cool down as they travel through your plumbing, and they tend to solidify and coat your pipes’ walls before making it out.

One way to dispose of grease easily is to pour it into a foil-lined bowl and wait for it to harden. Once the grease solidifies, you can roll up the foil and toss it in the trash. You can also keep oils and fats in mason jars or empty milk cartons until you’re ready to dispose of them.

5. Run hot water down your kitchen drain to help remove grease.

Even if you do your best to avoid putting any grease down your drains, some will still end up finding its way into your home’s plumbing when you wash the dishes. You can help grease move along through your pipes by using hot while washing dishes and by running additional hot water down your kitchen drain for about 30 seconds afterward.

Stuck with a stubborn clog?

Rudd Plumbing offers professional drain cleaning in Tyler and surrounding areas. Whether you need cabling or top-of-the-line sewer jetting services, our plumbers have the knowledge and equipment to provide you with a long-term solution for clogged drains. Contact us online or call us at (903) 290-0851.

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