Drains seem almost invisible until they stop working. The worst part is, most clogs are completely preventable. By adding a few quick steps to your chore list, and making smart desicions, you can reduce the likelihood you will need a plumber in the future.
Review What Can and Can't Go Down the Drain
A drain is not a garbage can. Even your garbage disposal, which seems like it can handle a lot, isn't meant for more than the occasional bit of food scraps. While it won't be an ongoing task, taking the time to learn about what is safe to put down your drains is worth the time. Not everything that is labeled as safe for drains actually is. Many cities are currently struggling with the trend towards "flushable" products that don't actually break down properly. Municipal drain systems aren't the only thing that can get clogged- your own drains can suffer as well.
Use Some Natural Drain Cleaners to Keep Pipes Clear
While chemical drain cleaners will slowly eat through your pipes, natural cleaners are safe to use repeatably. There are plenty of recipes out there, but most involve something fizzy and a lot of hot water. The ingredients are inexpensive, and running this through each of your drains once every other week will help keep soap scum, oil and hair from building up inside your pipes and causing a clog.
You also might want to start trying garbage disposal cleaning recipes. This is the one time it is okay to put food down the disposal. Some types of kitchen waste, like squeezed lemons, are soft enough to get chopped up sufficiently while cleaning the blades, as well as adding a pleasant scent. Herbs, frozen in to ice cubes, are another popular method for cleaning the system. This has the advantage of melting away on its own if the blades don't chop things down enough
The idea is that, while caustic commercial cleaners can deal with a larger amount of buildup, by drain cleaning regularly, your drains will never get to that point. By not allowing anything down the drains that doesn't belong there, this is sufficient cleaning to keep drains clear and healthy.
Take Care of Slow Drains Before They Become a Major Issue
Because of bad habits or the slow progression of time, these habits won't completely keep your drains clear on their own. However, running all that water through the drains regularly will help you spot problems before the lines back up too far. By calling the plumber early in the process, you won't need emergency service, and the clog will be easier to address. Even better, you will catch breaks in your sewage lines before your yard becomes a swamp. Broken sewer pipes act just like clogs, but every drain in the house will run slowly.
Your plumbing system is the lifeblood of your home, and clogs are just as bad as clogs in your arteries. Even worse, those clogs can cause joints to burst or drains to back up into your home, with all the horrors that sewage in your home can bring. This careful monitoring is imperative to prevent all that nastiness.
While you can't always avoid plumbing problems, you can certainly get rid of most of them. These tasks are easy to implement, and once you get in the habit, the time commitment will be minimal. Taking care of your house is about taking part of all of your house, not just the areas you can see. Your home's plumbing is something that is easy to take for granted, until it no longer functions.