Any household drainage system is a lot more delicate than most people realize. Everyone has experienced clogged sinks and bathtubs at one point or another, but there comes a time when a chemical drain cleaner won’t fix the problem anymore. Plumbers come with a hefty fee, and kitchen remodeling costs can skyrocket with restructuring pipes, so save in advance with proper drain management. Excessive solid waste, grease, and foreign objects can create a short-term problem, but to prevent more expensive repairs, follow these three tips.
- Reduce everything you put in the sink. Grease is technically a liquid, but it can still gradually solidify in kitchen drains. If you don’t want your garbage to constantly smell like bacon, you can store grease in a coffee can in the freezer and throw it out less often, once it become full. Disposals, too, make people imagine they can put any food down their drain, but more fibrous materials and coffee grains need to be tossed or composted.
- Add filters. Hair can be some of the most damaging materials on plumbing systems; it doesn’t need to be scrubbed and shampooed to come loose or fall into a drain. When hairs clump together, they slow the drainage, and eventually they stop the whole system. Filters not only in showers but all household sinks can save you on some major kitchen remodeling costs down the road.
- “Flush” sinks regularly. Toilets are built to process solid waste, but sinks are not. Plug and fill them regularly, then let them drain. Even if you’re vigilant, some solid materials will fall into sinks, and this “flushing” method will help push them through and prevent accumulation. Pouring in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can also help—and naturally, without adding harmful chemicals to the water system.