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Simple Tips for Avoiding Clogged Drains in Your Home

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No one likes to deal with blocked drains in the bathtub or sink, although it's inevitable that a sink or tub will get clogged and need some clearing. However, you can help to reduce the number of clogs your home suffers if you note a few simple and easy plumbing maintenance tips. Ask your plumber about these if necessary, and especially if your home is always suffering clogs, so you know you're doing everything you can to protect your home's plumbing.

Hot water

Run hot water down sinks or the bathtub drain every time you finish using them, as hot water will help to dissolve any residual grease, oil, or soap scum, and keep the drain clean. You can also do a bit more cleaning by occasionally adding a spoonful of baking soda to the drain before running the hot water, as the soda will help to push along that grease and oil and keep the pipes clean. Baking soda also helps to reduce any foul odours coming from the drain. Vinegar will also dissolve oils and greases; add a spoonful of vinegar, give it a moment to get through the pipes, and then flush the drain with hot water.

Sharpen disposal blades

If your kitchen's garbage disposal blades get dull, they won't be able to slice and dice food scraps; these will then cling to the blades and plumbing pipes, and eventually lead to clogs. You can sharpen these blades yourself; turn on the cold water tap and then the disposal, and then add ice cubes, one at a time, to the drain. The sharp edge of that ice cube will help to sharpen those disposal blades, and ice cube shards will also help to remove any food scraps that are already clinging to the blades and the pipes.

Fix leaks

You may not associate leaking plumbing pipes with clogs, but note that a leak will reduce water pressure as water flows through your pipes. Water helps to move solid materials through the pipes; without enough pressure, that solid material can leave debris clinging to the inside of the pipes, or solid waste may simply stop moving altogether. As a result, your pipes then eventually clog. Be sure you quickly fix any water leaks, in the pipes or hot water heater or even from a faucet, so that the home's water pressure is always strong enough to push materials through the entire plumbing system.