Growing up in a house full of girls, I unofficially took on the role as my father's only son. So when the time came to fix a leaky sink or change the oil in the family car, it was me that stood by my father's side. Thanks to him and everything he taught me, I am now able to take care of myself and my children in a way that not everyone can. I have tried over the years to engage my own daughter in the same way my father engaged me, but she's currently more interested in playing with dolls than fixing potholes. After my father passed away last year, I vowed to find a way to pass on everything he taught me, this blog is my way of keeping that promise. I truly hope that you learn as much as I have over the years.
Having to call the plumber to clear a drain—or worse yet, your main sewer line—is inconvenient and costly. While clogs can sometimes result from circumstances beyond your control, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of a clog.
Be careful with your garbage disposal.
Garbage disposals can come in handy, but you do need to be careful with them. If you send a lot of greasy foods or fibrous foods down the disposal, you're likely to end up with a clog either in your sink drain or further down in a main pipe. So try to avoid putting anything sticky or greasy, including sauces and bacon fat, down your disposal. Also put fibrous foods like lemon peels, celery scraps, and the like in your compost or garbage.
Put screens over your drains.
Laundry lint, hair, and food scraps all contribute to clogs. A simple way to keep these out of your pipes is to put a mesh screen over each drain. You can purchase this type of screen at most dollar stores and home-goods stores for only a dollar or two. Every few days, empty the debris that has accumulated in the mesh trap. You'll be surprised how much stuff you dump out that would have otherwise ended up in your pipes.
Don't plant trees near your main sewer line.
If you don't know where your home's main sewer line is, take the time to find out. Its location might be noted on your home's blueprints (if you have them). If all else fails, call the local sewer department. They can come mark your sewer line with some flags. Make sure you do not plant trees anywhere near this line. Their roots often grow into the line, causing serious clogs.
Dump some baking soda and vinegar down your sinks once a month.
Soap scum can start accumulating in a drain with regular use. The scum itself won't typically lead to a clog, but it will grab onto other materials, like hairs and lint, leading to a clog. Keep the soap scum away by dumping about ½ cup baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drain once a month. The mixture will foam up and loosen any soap scum before it has a chance to grab on to too much.
If you do start to notice that a drain is slow, take a plunger to it. Often, this will loosen a clog so you don't have to resort to chemical drain cleaners or your plumber's assistance.
If you do need professional help, call a company such as Total Enviro Services Inc so you can get the problem taken care of quickly.