Plumbing repairs and clogged pipes can add up and take a big bite out of the homeowner’s budget. The best thing to do in order to avoid these costly repairs is to have a maintenance plan in place that reduces or eliminates the need to make a plumbing service call. The good news is that there are a few simple things that can be done that will keep your plumbing pipes clog free that either cost little or nothing at all.
1. Use washing machine lint filters
If you have a washing machine that empties into a sink, over time you can see the lint that begins to cake on the sink, or that sticks to your drain after the water discharges from the machine spin cycle. Imagine this lint beginning to stick to the inside of your pipes as it gets stuck and combines with whatever else is coated along your pipes. Over time this lint begins to harden to the pipe and as it gets thicker, it begins to close off the pipe. The problem with lint today is that most of the fibers are not made of biodegradable material, so built up lint doesn’t necessarily dissolve with some of the drain cleaners that are flushed down pipes to clean them out.
The best way to prevent lint build up from occurring is to put a lint trap on the drainage hose of the washing machine. Most lint traps are made for laundry machines that empty into a sink, however there are some solutions that can fit onto the drainage hoses that empty directly into a pipe in the wall. The good news is that these hose lint traps are very inexpensive (only a few dollars at most) and are fairly easy to install yourself.
2. Don’t pour grease down your drain.
Grease can be anything from vegetable oil to the grease that is created from cooking fatty meats. The thicker the grease, the more it will stick to the surfaces of the pipes. The problem with grease is that even if you pour it down the drain when it is in a liquid state, it begins to solidify when it goes into the pipe, and it also reacts with other things that may be stuck to the surface of the pipe and cements itself to the surface of the pipe as well. To prevent grease buildup, it is best to not pour it down the drain, but instead, to wipe it out of the pan/pot with a paper towel, or put it into a jar and then dispose of it in the trash.
Maintenance is an important function for homeowners to keep a comfortable and safe home, and a healthy plumbing system is one of those areas that must be working for a safe and clean household. Keeping your pipes from plugging up with gunk is something that can be done with little effort and cost and is something that can never be started too soon.