5 Tips to Prevent Blocked Pipes

Blocked or clogged pipes are a part of life for homeowners. You are going to experience a blocked pipe at one point or the other. It can be in the form of a clogged bathtub, sink, or toilet drain. Besides causing unpleasant wastewater back-up, it can also cause bad odor, pipe, and fixture corrosion, and potential property damage.

While there is no foolproof way to prevent blocked pipes, you can take many measures to reduce its chances. So, what are the things you can do to prevent pipes from clogging in your home?

1. Don’t Dispose of Grease or Oil in the Sink

Food grease and cooking oil should be disposed of in a sealable container or jar and placed in a garbage bin. You should never wash them down the sink. Both tend to become solid when they cool down, thus sticking to the pipe’s insides and obstructing water flow. 

It is further recommended to avoid putting the following items into the kitchen sink:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Leftover shells
  • Seeds

And any form of fiber.

It is further recommended to occasionally pour cold water or ice into the garbage disposal to solidify any oil or grease and break it down.

2. Give Your Drain a Weekly Hot Water Treatment

Even if you follow the best practices, some amount of fats can end up in the drain. It is recommended to pour hot water down the sink once a week. This can help melt any solidified grease or oil. The hot water should be poured slowly to prevent it from splashing back.

3. Avoid Flushing Non-Toilet Paper Items

If you don’t want to have a clogged toilet, you should stop flushing anything except the toilet paper down the toilet. This also means not flushing tampons, pads, and other sanitary products, as they are made of cotton and plastic. Cat litter should also be avoided. Flushing such products down the toilet can also increase the risk of permanent sewer system damage.

4. Use Drain Screens & Filters

It is recommended to install a wire mesh screen or a filter on every drain. You can install them everywhere including:

  • Kitchen
  • Bath & shower
  • Laundry
  • Vanity sink

The filter should help catch most of the hair, food scraps, soap scum, and other forms of debris from getting into the pipes. This is a simple and practical way to prevent pipes from getting clogged. Make sure the screens are cleaned regularly.

5. Ensure Regular Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance are the most important factors in preventing pipe blockages. Most clogs are caused by the build-up of materials inside pipes over time. 

  • It is recommended to occasionally use bacteria-based drain cleaners. 
  • You can also clean the drains using a bent or wire hanger to remove any solid materials. 
  • You can occasionally pour a cup of vinegar or baking soda into the drain. Pour hot water after 30 minutes.

You can also get periodic professional pipe cleaning and maintenance services from licensed plumbers for difficult-to-reach pipes and sewage systems. This can be in the form of drainage system inspections every two years. This can help identify problems well in time to prevent not just blocks, but also major issues.

It is further recommended to follow these tips to prevent pipe blockages:

  • Run hot water down the kitchen sink every time after cooking or washing dishes.
  • Avoid planting large shrubs or trees near your home.
  • Avoid dumping paint, thinner, or any other chemical down the drains.
  • Avoid the use of drain cleaners that can damage the rains.
  • Care should be taken that kids do not flush toys or other items into the toilet.

So, you should follow these tips to lower any chances of your pipes getting blocked. Besides, regular professional inspections can go a long way in preventing plumbing emergencies and protecting your property against water damage.