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Drains perform an important function in your plumbing system, carrying wastewater from sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, and appliances to your sewer line, where it is then funneled into a septic tank or municipal sewer system for treatment. While you may not think about your drains often, healthy home drains to require care and attention to continue performing as they should; common plumbing problems such as clogs and backups are often the result of misuse, overuse, or poor maintenance habits. All you’ll need is a few simple tools and a few minutes of your time to ensure your home’s drains remain healthy and functional for problem-free plumbing performance.

Treat Your Drains with Respect
It’s easy to think of the drains in your home as small wastebaskets that make cleaning fast, easy, and worry-free. However, drains are not designed to handle solid waste, nor should they be used to dispose of many household chemicals. Treating your drains properly means avoiding the use of drains as waste receptacles, including the drains in your toilets and kitchen sink. Even if you have a garbage disposal unit, check its manual to determine which foods are safe to place down the disposal, and which items are better tossed into the trash to avoid a major clog. Items and liquids you should never put down a drain include fat and grease, animal bones and corncobs, paint and automotive fluids, and cat litter and baby wipes, even if these products claim to be “flushable.” By treating your drains as receptacles only for water waste, you’ll drastically reduce your risk for stubborn clogs by preventing buildup inside your pipes. Keeping toilet lids closed and using mesh drain baskets in bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers are additional steps that can keep hair and other debris from entering your drain and causing problems over time.

Leave the Serious Drain Cleaning to the Professionals
While the smart practices listed above should help you avoid major drain troubles, it’s also important to know how to properly handle simple drain issues and when it’s time to contact your plumber. Minor clogs that haven’t yet completely blocked a drain can often be handled on your own, but it’s vital to use the right tools and practices to avoid causing damage to your drain. Never use caustic drain cleaning chemicals to clear a clog, as these products can actually cause long-term harm to your plumbing, especially when overused. Instead, try an eco- and plumbing-friendly solution of vinegar and baking soda, or an enzymatic drain cleaning product to clear a slow drain. Alternatively, a plunger is a simple tool that can effectively dislodge smaller clogs using suction; keep in mind that you may have to plunge the problematic drain several times before it clears. However, if these methods fail, it’s time to call your plumber for professional drain cleaning help. Trying more complex methods of drain cleaning without assistance is much more likely to cause further damage to your plumbing, resulting in a bigger problem.

If you need professional drain cleaning in Columbus, OH, stop by our website to find out more about our comprehensive plumbing services or to schedule an appointment; we also offer 24-hour emergency plumbing solutions to handle issues that occur on weekends and after business hours to reduce the disruption a plumbing problem can cause to your lifestyle and your schedule. You can also find more information and tips on your home plumbing system and how to keep it in great shape when you click through our blog.

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