Have you ever noticed a strange smell coming from your drains? Or, have you had problems with water backing up in your sinks or showers? If so, you might be damaging your drains without even realizing it. We all use our drains on a daily basis and it can be easy to overlook the potential risks to our plumbing system. In this blog post, we will take a look at five common ways you might be harming your drains and provide tips on how to avoid these issues. Read on to find out more.
1) Pouring grease down the drain
Grease, fat, and oil are liquids at first, but when they cool, they harden and form a sticky coating on the inside of your drain pipes. This can cause clogs or slow drains as the grease accumulates over time. It also attracts other debris, resulting in a bigger clog. To avoid this problem, never pour grease down the drain. Instead, wipe it off your dishes and pans with a paper towel and throw it away in the trash.
2) Flushing things other than toilet paper
When it comes to flushing things other than toilet paper, it’s important to remember that drains are only meant for human waste and toilet paper. Many people don’t realize that flushing items such as paper towels, sanitary products, facial tissues, diapers, and other non-flushable items can cause serious damage to your drains. This is because these items do not break down easily, and they can block your pipes, leading to plumbing issues. In addition to this, flushing items other than toilet paper can also lead to a buildup of bacteria in your pipes, leading to unpleasant odors. If you have any questions about what can or cannot be flushed down the toilet, it’s best to contact a local plumber for more information.
3) Overloading the garbage disposal
People unknowingly damage their drains is by overloading their garbage disposal. While garbage disposals are a great way to quickly and easily dispose of food waste, they are not designed to handle large amounts of food. If you try to stuff too much food into the disposal, you may end up clogging the drain. This can lead to water buildup and eventually a clogged or backed-up sink. To prevent your garbage disposal from becoming overloaded, be sure to take it slow when feeding food down the drain. Break up any large chunks into smaller pieces before disposing of them, and never put more than a few handfuls at a time into the disposal. Additionally, remember that certain food items, such as coffee grounds, egg shells, bones, and fibrous vegetables, should never be put into a garbage disposal.
4) Ignoring slow drains
At first, it may seem like a minor nuisance, but a slow-draining sink, shower, or tub could be an indicator of a larger problem. If your drain is taking longer to clear than usual, don’t ignore it. Check for any blockages or clogs, as this could be the cause of the issue. If you do spot any blockages, it’s best to take care of them right away. Leaving them untouched will only worsen the issue and can even lead to drainage problems further down the line. To prevent slow drains, regularly pour hot water down your sinks, showers, and tubs. This will help to break up any blockages that have already started to form and keep your drains flowing freely. If you are still having issues with your drains, it might be time to call in a professional plumber to check them out.
5) Using chemical drain cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners might seem like an easy and efficient way to unclog your drain, but the truth is that they are more likely to do more harm than good. Chemical drain cleaners are very harsh and contain a number of caustic ingredients. These can damage pipes, corrode metals, and weaken seals. The chemicals in these cleaners can also harm septic tanks and corrode the environment. Not only are chemical drain cleaners hazardous for your plumbing, but they can also be hazardous to your health. The fumes from the cleaners can be toxic and lead to respiratory issues or skin irritation. Additionally, if you don’t use the cleaner correctly, it can lead to dangerous explosions and splattering of chemicals. If you want to clear a blocked drain, it is always best to use a more natural solution like boiling water or baking soda and vinegar first. If these do not work, then you can contact a professional plumber who can help diagnose and repair the problem without risking any damage to your pipes or your health.
Maintaining your drains and keeping them free from debris is key to preventing costly plumbing problems in the future. By being aware of common mistakes such as pouring grease down the drain, flushing items other than toilet paper, overloading the garbage disposal, and ignoring slow drains, you can help prevent more serious plumbing issues. If you find you have been doing one of these five things, it’s time to call our Home Service Doctors team has you may have a clog lurking in your pipes!