How Often Do You Need to Clean the Drains in Your Home?

How often should you clean your drain?

Drain cleaning is a dirty job, but when performed on a regular basis it can protect your plumbing pipes and ensure all fixtures and sinks in your kitchen and bathroom are draining properly. Lots of debris are sent through the shower, toilet, kitchen and bathroom sink each day, which leads clogs to form from hair, grease, food particles, soap scum, and related materials. You need to clean your drains regularly to stop a major clog from forming.

A slow or clogged drain is something you should not ignore. Mr. Plumber explains how to clean drains correctly, how often to do so, and when you should call a plumbing professional to perform cleanings. Maintenance cleanings and cleaning drains to remove blockages protect your pipes and limits hassles at home.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Drains?

As part of your plumbing maintenance routine, call your plumber to schedule professional cleaning service at least once a year. This service helps your home maintain clean lines and eliminates debris buildup that will lead to clogs as time passes. You should schedule professional cleanings for your drains yearly even if they don’t appear to need it and aren’t blocked.

In addition to annual professional cleaning for drains, maintain your drains weekly and monthly by performing certain care tasks. Doing these jobs on a regular basis will help keep drain pipes flowing smoothly and free of matter that could form an obstruction in the line.

Whenever you notice a slow-moving drain, cleaning the drain should be the first thing you do to troubleshoot the problem. A blockage in the line is usually to blame with one drain or multiple drains in one area of the home are slowing down or blocked. If you are unable to clear out the pipe yourself, you will need to call in a plumber.

Methods You Should Use to Clean Your Drains

Drain cleaning is both a preventative and corrective measure or service. When you specifically notice a drain emptying rather sluggishly, you need to take steps to clear out the blockage. Here’s how to do that:

Safe Ways to Clean Drains

Clean shower, toilet, bathroom and kitchen sink drains using these methods:

  • Plunge drains to boost pressure so blockages move through the drain pipes. Be aware of the different categories of plungers, as they’re meant for different fixtures. Keep a cup plunger handy to clean blockages in sinks or shower drains. Use a flanged plunger if your toilet doesn’t empty correctly.
  • Running a plumber’s auger or snake down the drain can catch obstructing materials and remove them or break them up so they can easily pass through the piping.
  • Pour boiling water from 2 to 3 feet above the drain. The heat from the hot water plus gravity work to soften matter and force it through the pipes.
  • Place a cup of baking soda and vinegar into your drains to clean them out and remove blockages.

Avoid These Drain Cleaners

Whatever you do, do not pour chemical cleaners down any drain in your home. These products are known to cause more damage than good.

  • Cleaning chemical products eat away at pipes, causing corrosion that leads to leaks and a need for new plumbing lines.
  • Chemical cleaners interrupt bacterial breakdown processes in septic tanks, causing septic problems.
  • Toxins in drain cleaning chemicals pollute water sources and wildlife habitats, while their bottles add to landfills.
  • Chemicals are not appropriate for the removal of all types of blockages that can occur in drain lines.

Easy Maintenance for Drains

Routine maintenance on a weekly and monthly basis will help you keep drains clean and limit your risk of obstructions in these pipes.

  • Practice correct use of garbage disposal equipment. Don’t put grease or certain types of food down the drain. Rinse with cold water as the disposal runs instead of using hot water. Allow water to run through the drain for at least 30 seconds once you shut off the disposal unit. Run the garbage disposal at least one time each week to keep the drain clean and the unit in good working order.
  • Add strainers atop drains to catch matter like hair and other waste particles so they don’t wash down your drains.
  • Each week, sprinkle kitchen sink drains with baking soda if you have an issue with odors.
  • Weekly, rinse kitchen and bathroom drains. Pour hot water into the drain to flush it.
  • Monthly, clean drains by adding one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar into the opening. Leave the solution for a half hour then rinse with boiling water to flush the pipe.

Do You Need Professional Drain Cleaning?

Even when you keep your drains regularly cleaned, issues can sometimes arise that create the need for professional or even emergency drain cleaning or plumbing service. If you are unable to remove a clog or restore drainage on your own, you need to call and schedule plumbing system service.

  • If your drains continue to clog even after you remove matter, plumbing help is needed to resolve the underlying issue. Pipe walls may need scoured of soap, grease, or hair buildup.
  • Water backing up in a sink or shower while a toilet flushes is a sign there is air in the lines. Drain cleaning can help with this issue.
  • If all drains in the house are clogged or not flowing at all, it is possible there is a major clog or other damage in your main sewer pipe. A plumbing professional needs to look deep into the sewer line to find the obstruction and clear debris. Repair service may also be warranted.
  • Sewage backup in any sink or drain creates an emergency. Call for plumbing service immediately as exposure to sewer gases can be harmful.

Central Indiana Drain Cleaners

If you experience blockages or poor drainage in your Central Indiana home, trust Mr. Plumber to tackle the problem. Our licensed professionals clear drain lines to remove obstructions and restore proper drainage. Contact us today to schedule service.

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