The drains in homes are often abused and mistreated. People pour things down the drain that the system was never designed to handle. Things like bacon fat, grease from cooking, or oils should never be disposed of in the sink drain, and care needs to be taken when using the disposal so ground up debris can be completely cleared through the system. What happens if you do get a clog? It might be time to call a professional. The following are some common clogs you might encounter and how to prevent them.
Dealing With Sink Drains
One of the worst things you can do is run fat and grease down your sink drain. People might pour hot liquids down the drain and run the hot water to flush them through the system. The hot water does not help move the fat and grease down the drain. Instead, it just spreads out the oils so now the cooling fats and grease can congeal on the sides of the pipe. If this is done enough times, the grease and fat start to build up and eventually block off the drain. Once that happens, the only course of action is to have a drain cleaning company come out and clean the system thoroughly and remove the grease completely. It's best to let fat and grease cool and then throw them in the garbage.
Keeping the Tub Drains Clear
Another problem area in many homes is the tub and shower drains. They fill with hair and soap residue over time and can form a blockage in the line that is very hard to clean. Often a plumber will have to run a snake down the line to break up the clog and pull the hair from the drain. In some cases, the blockage can be so severe that the line needs to be opened to clean it out. You can buy or rent lightweight drain snakes and clear the line yourself if the blockage is light, but a plumber will use a power snake to break through the bad clogs and clear the line. Avoiding this problem can be as simple as adding a screen to the shower or tub drain that is designed to trap hair and not let it was down the drain. Clean it after every use and you can avoid the plumber's bill altogether.
Dealing With Main Lines
Anything that goes down the drain in your home ends up in the main line going to the sewer system. The main line running from your home to the city system or to your septic system is a terrible place for a blockage. In most homes, there is a cleanout that the plumber can use to access the main line, but in some older homes, the only way to get to the main line is to dig it up where it runs through your yard. This can get expensive quickly but you can avoid this by simply being aware of what you are letting go down your drains.