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Maintain a Healthy Drainage System

Modern Plumbing Fixtures Need Regular Inspection and Maintenance

© 2012 by Mark Barry All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A Properly Flushing Toilet; photo courtesy Kelly Smith

Drainage systems in the home should be maintained well and serviced regularly so that your plumbing system is working well and there is no danger of pipes bursting or the drains blocking which can cause a number of problems in your home.

Drain services now regularly implement new technology allowing them to assess what kind of services you need and the problem with your drainage.

There are CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) drainage surveys and high pressure water jetting which will unblock blockages in your pipe without having to dig up around your home.

Catch Problems Early with Periodic Inspections

When doing your home maintenance, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and bathtubs must be checked routinely so that any minor problems can be checked and repaired quickly without waiting for them to become big issues that require extensive work and will also cost you much more.

Also, outside drains, soil, and storm pipes should be checked routinely and cleared of any debris and cleaned so that the dirt and debris does not build up and cause a blockage.

If you are carrying out home repairs and you find that you will need to replace old and worn out pipes, then you may have to hire a plumbing company that deals with drains and drainage systems to carry out the work for you.

The work may involve excavation, removing the old and worn out pipes and installing new pipes correctly or repairing existing pipes if repair work can be done.

Some Jobs Should be Left to the Professionals

If this is the kind of repair and maintenance that you are carrying out for your home, then you will need to get a good drainage company that can carry out the work fast and effectively so that you do not have to stay without running water for a long time.

This is because the water has to be shut off in the period of time when the repairs or replacements are being carried out.

If you notice that your bathtub or sinks, in any part of your home, do not drain water quickly, or there is a bad odor in the sink or bathtub no matter how much you clean it, or there is a backflow of the water, then your sink may be blocked.

Methods for Unblocking Clogged Drains

You may use cleaning aids and detergents that will unblock minor blockages or you can open up the sink and manually remove the dirt that is there.

You should only do this if you know what you are doing so that you don’t destroy your sink and its drainage system which will cost you much more than getting a plumber in the first place.

If you are using a commercial liquid product to unclog a blocked or sluggish drain, the good news is that there are now enzyme-based products so you don’t have to rely on potentially dangerous chemicals.

Sometimes, manual methods present a better solution. For sinks and bathtub drains where the blockage is close to the drain entrance, Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, and many other stores sell a product called a “Zip-It”.

It’s simply a long plastic strip with backward-facing teeth that grip the blockage (usually hair) so it may be extracted. For blockages further down the line, a snake will usually take care of the problem quite handily.

Other Plumbing Problems

If your pipes make a lot of noise or they shudder and shake, then it is advisable to have them checked as they may have problems with pressure and you don’t want them to burst and flood your home destroying your valuables and furniture.

A plumbing soil stack (stink pipe); image courtesy Martin2Reid Another common complaint in bathrooms particularly, when flushing one fixture, it siphons water from the trap of another fixture. This is an indication that your stink pipe (soil stack) is blocked up.

This is the pipe you can see sticking out of your roof. All the plumbing fixtures are tied to it and the purpose is to equalize pressure so that a vacuum will not be created. It can usually be cleared by jetting a garden hose downward from the roof.

It is recommended that you carry out routine inspections at least once in three months and you can have professionals come in once a year. You should not stay more than three years without having your drainage system checked.

Follow Kelly Smith

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