Drain functionality is essential to the smooth operation of your home. Every time you turn on a faucet, run the washing machine, or flush the toilet, your drainage system should quickly remove wastewater without a second thought from you. But like any area of your home—especially one that sees so much use—drains can fall into disrepair. How do you know whether your drains need cleaning? Read on! And don’t miss our tips on how to clean them effectively.
Collecting Food Waste
The garbage disposal unit provides our homes with so much convenience. Unfortunately, this type of convenience often gives homeowners the false impression that it is alright to dump all kinds of food waste in the disposer.
This practice can cause clogging problems in your drains that can be accompanied with foul odor. What should you do to make sure that kitchen plumbing does not clog? A good practice is to make sure that all organic waste is collected in a container. And instead of sending it down the garbage disposer, start your own compost pile or send it to where the city collects its organic waste. Meat and greasy food should not be added to your compost bin because it does not breakdown easily.
Today a lot of homeowners are so concerned with conserving water and lowering monthly utility bills. This is the reason why many are switching out their regular faucets with low-flow ones. The drawback to this is that by using less volume of water, it becomes more difficult to remove debris allowing them to stay and collect inside the pipes.
How do you solve this problem? One of the best ways is to occasionally flush the kitchen drain pipes with large volume of water. Normally, a 5-gallon bucket of water would suffice. To make it more efficient, use hot water, just be careful when handling it and avoid splashes. The hot water will help melt the grease clinging to the sides of the pipes and breaks down other food particles trapped in the drain. Kitchen drains must be flushed at least twice a month depending on your usage.
Avoid Chemical Cleaners
If we are to believe all things we see on television and hear over the radio, then all homeowners would be reaching for chemical cleaners for their drains. However, homeowners must realize that using corrosive chemicals to clean kitchen drains can cause more problems than solutions. Why is this? Corrosive chemicals can damage the plumbing pipes, especially if they are a bit old. The chemical may also find its way into your water supply causing health and plumbing problems. So what should you do to make sure that your pipes remain clean?
Since most of the items found inside your kitchen drains are organic matter, it is better to use bacteria-based cleaners. This type of bacteria will breakdown the organic matter to restore the smooth flow of the drain. This type of cleaner can be either solid or liquid in form. By using this type of drain cleaner you eliminate potential damage to your plumbing pipes. The bacteria is also not a threat to the septic system in your home, provided that you follow the instructions found on the packaging. This cleaner will need time to work so you normally have to leave it in the drain overnight.
Clean the Trap
The sink trap is often overlooked during the cleaning process because it is designed to keep out poisonous sewer gases from entering our homes. So often homeowners forget that its J-shaped design makes it a potential choke point for food and other particles that can cause clogging.
Depending on the design, the trap may feature a vent or drain that will allow you to clean it easily. Make sure that you place a bucket underneath when draining it to catch the dirt and wastewater. Do this several times to keep the kitchen drain in good health and remove whatever material is in the pipe that can cause clogging.