Don’t Waste Money on Chemical Cleaners
One of the most common issues you can have with your plumbing is a blocked drain. This is caused by debris building up on the wall of a pipe. Blockages form because of things like soap, hair, oil, food particles and other oily products.
What happens is that over time this can make the sides of a pipe become sticky which can then collect more debris in that area. This usually happens in the ‘trap’ section of a pipe.
One of the first things people will think of in this situation is getting a chemical drain cleaning product. This will work and can be effective initially, but it is not solving the root cause. What you will find is that the pipes will clog up quicker everytime.
So you are spending money on a product that is only temporarily fixing the issue. Another thing is that these chemical products can actually erode cast iron pipes and joints.
So the chemical products need to be used often and do damage to the plumbing system. This will weaken certain areas of the plumbing and will eventually cause a leak, which is a bigger problem. Not to mention these chemicals are horrible for the environment.
What you should do instead is hire a local plumber to remove the blockage for you. They can get to the source and clear out any grease, hair and gunk that is causing the pipes to choke. It is a fairly quick job and is usually quite cheap, depending on the severity.
Another option is you can head down to your local hardware store and purchase a ‘plumbers snake’. This is the tool a plumber will first try to unclog and clean your pipes. It’s a pretty straight forward device that anyone can use. It won’t even cost much more than the harsh chemicals.
How to Prevent Blockages
A common thing that people do is put food scraps and pour oil down a drain. This is asking for a blockage to happen. Oil is less viscous when it is hot and becomes more viscous when cold. So pouring oil down a drain with cold running water will eventually create a blockage. Oil and grease should never be poured down a plumbing system. Along with food scraps, they should never be put down the drain.
Food scraps and grease should be collected for the compost. That is the best option, if this is not an option then there are disposable containers available. Anything other than pouring down the plumbing system is better.
Another hot tip is to have a strainer on every drain, the kitchen sink and bathroom sinks. In the kitchen sink this will prevent any food scraps from falling down. For the bathroom, strainers will easily be able to stop hair. Once the strainer has collected scraps they can be removed and the excess gunk can be put in the bin. This simple action will save every drain in the house from becoming blocked.
I have been to homes where the chemical drain cleaner was in every room where there was a drain. Every pipe was clogged and the amount of chemicals sent down the drains had made some connections come loose. If each drain cleaner cost about $10 and they had at least 5, then that is $50. That $50 should have been spent on a plumber initially and any decent plumber will recommend using a strainer.
So for people who haven’t repaired pipes and drains everyday like I have, blockages aren’t ever on the mind when doing the dishes or having a shower. These blockages can form deep inside a plumbing system and become a serious problem. Plumbers these days do have special equipment to deal with it but still, it’s something that can be avoided.
So these few simple tips will keep your water flowing freely and keep your plumbing system in good working order for longer.
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