Welcome to this week’s episode of “How NOT to Call the Plumber!”.
The truth is, nobody is ever planning on calling the plumber; especially when all of a sudden, your drains aren’t working! This week, we’re going to go through some maintenance tips and tricks you can do yourself to keep things flowing.
1. Know what you should NEVER put down the drain
This list could go on forever, but there are a few culprits we find more often than others: FOG’s (Fats, Oils, Grease), are the biggest drain blockers out there. Of course it is impossible to avoid it completely, but try to minimize the amount that goes down the drain. Don’t use the sink as a dumping ground for the grease in pots and pans as we find many people do! If you are already careful about grease in the drains but the sink still blocks, don’t feel too bad – even the most diligent will experience a clog eventually!
A second big player in the clog game is coffee grinds. For some reason, there is a “old wive’s tale” out there that coffee grinds help to clean the pipes. Whatever you do, don’t listen! Coffee grinds in fact stick to any existing grease in the pipes, and then create even more surface area for grease buildup in the future. Just put them in the bin!
2. Know how to maintain your drains
Guess what? The answer is NEVER chemical drain cleaners! While some may be labeled as “safe for drains”, this just isn’t the case. Over time, these drain cleaners will inevitably eat away at your pipes, causing leaks (often behind walls). Finding and repairing a leak in a wall is a destructive, expensive process. Let’s try to avoid that as much as possible!
You can however maintain the drains using a couple of more friendly options. First, fill up your sink once a week with hot water from the tap (the hotter the better) and add a bit of dish soap. Letting that hot water run through the pipes will help to get rid of some of the inevitable grease buildup. Secondly, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to help dissolve organic matter in the pipes. Doing this every so often will work wonders to keep things flowing!
3. Know what tools to have on hand
There are a few basic tools you should have in the case you do experience a blockage. Some plumber’s pliers, a small hand snake, and a cup plunger are all good to have if you want to try to clear the blockage yourself. Unfortunately, if you can’t clear the blockage with these, it is because it’s likely further down the drain and you’ll need to call in a pro!
That’s all for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with free-flowing drains!