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It is easy to overlook home basics like plumbing with all the craziness of trying to make meals and plan activities for the kiddos. Meanwhile, your work keeps piling up too.
It seems like the only time we turn our attention to our house’s plumbing is, well, when it’s not working. That’s usually all we have time for.
However, DIY plumbing is about so much more than throwing Band-Aid solutions on our drain problems, dusting off our hands and waiting for some new problem to crop up – it’s about being knowledgeable and preventative. Having a basic understanding of what’s good for the pipes and drains in your family home is going to save you a lot of headaches – and MONEY – down the road.
Maintain A Healthy Plumbing System
The first step in successfully maintaining a healthy plumbing system is to know what you can and can’t put down the drain. Think of it as a diet for your drain – the more you restrict things that are harmful to it, the healthier and better functioning it’ll be.
With that in mind, the number one thing that you don’t want down the kitchen drain is fat. Lipids of any kind will stick onto the insides of sewer pipes, catching other debris and slowly blocking the drain to the point where nothing will go down it.
And whoever said that putting coffee grounds down the sink was a good idea was dead wrong. Just like fats, kitchen scraps, eggshells, and paper towels, this is a common kitchen sink clogger.
As for your toilet, well… toilet paper and waste should be all that goes down it. Don’t try and get cocky by flushing anything else down there. You’ll regret it.
Accept That Clogs Happen
But say you do get a clog, and you need to spring into action to make sure that matters don’t get worse. Your first line of defense in the unclogging of a drain is the good old-fashioned plunger. Make sure you’ve checked for any immediate obstructions first, obviously.
For sinks, plug any overflow holes so there’s only one point of exit for water, and use a regular plunger (or a flange plunger for the tub or toilet) to create a seal and, gripping firmly, plunge the obstruction.
For problems where plunging just doesn’t work, use a drain snake. It is a crank-operated tool that sends a coiled metal wire through your pipes, breaking up debris and scraping the pipe surfaces, and ultimately clearing the clog.
Know When You Should Call A Professional Plumber
While there are a number of different DIY ways to ensure your drains are taken care of, in times of emergency, it’s still always best to seek out drain cleaning services from a professional plumber. You can do a whole lot with a little knowledge, but knowing your limit is also important.
There’s a whole lot to plumbing, but with a few of the fundamentals, you can save precious time and money. As well as saving your family from having to live through the wet mess and foul odours of a backed up drain – with two parts prevention, and one part remedy know-how, you can keep your plumbing healthy and happy.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.