Old homes are prone to clogs and other issues if they still have their original plumbing. While this can be a nuisance, many homeowners would rather just deal with the occasional clog than pay for plumbing repairs. If your drains have a tendency to misbehave, it might be good to call a company like Doctor Fix-It or learn how to tell between a clog that indicates a bigger problem and a harmless one, and what you can do to fight clogs more easily.
Determine The Source Of The Clogs
In some cases drains that clog often can be a sign of a deeper problem that will only worse if ignored, eventually putting your plumbing out of commission. Even if you don't mind the additional maintenance, it's a good idea to find out what exactly is causing the clogs.
Drain clogs that are clearly caused by hair, grease, or food that have been washed into the pipes are obviously benign, but other types of clogs aren't. For example, if a clog often forms deep inside a pipe, this could indicate a serious problem with your line, such as tree roots penetrating the plumbing and catching matter as it floats through. This problem needs to be addressed right away, since allowing the roots to keep growing could totally destroy the affected pipes.
Another type of clog that indicates a deeper problem is one where water backs up through your pipes from other places in the house or from the sewer line. This can be unsanitary and often means you need serious plumbing repairs done to prevent flooding your home with waste water. Usually it's a problem with your main line.
If your clogs are an innocent nuisance and not a symptom of something worse, here are a couple of things you can do to make life easier without getting repairs done.
Invest In A Drum Auger
A drum auger is essentially a longer, more powerful drain snake. If snaking your drains when they clog up is too much physical labor for you, a drum auger can make the process much easier. Drum augers also have more strength against clogs, meaning even stubborn grease or hair clogs can be broken up and fished out of the pipe.
You'll need a power drill to operate an auger. As you hold down the trigger, the wire is pushed through the pipes in a spiraling motion, which allows it to more thoroughly clean them. Due to the power of the auger, however, you should never use it directly on a fixture like a sink or toilet. Instead, remove the fixture and run the line down into the pipe itself.
Give Your Pipes A Weekly Cleanse
If your goal is prevent clogs before they even form, you can give your pipes some help by forming a weekly routine that will break down matter stuck in your drains. A popular solution is to pour a pot of boiling water down each drain to liquefy grease and other gunk and push it further down the line. For good measure, you can chase the boiling water with a cup or two of white vinegar, which will not only eat away stubborn matter in the pipes, but will also disinfect the drain and get rid of any unpleasant odors.
For shower drains which frequently clog with hair, treat them weekly with hair remover to dissolve any follicles in your drain. Simply pour the product around the sides of the drain, wait a few minutes, and wash it away with plenty of hot water.
For many homeowners, clogs are just an annoying part of maintaining the house. Fortunately, you can arm yourself with the right equipment and cleaning routines to reduce how much of your time is spent unclogging drains. Still, the most permanent solution is to have your pipes fixed for good. Get in contact with your local plumber if you want to get rid of clogs once and for all, or if you notice signs of a serious plumbing problem when unclogging a drain.