A Homeowner's Guide to Maintaining Household Drain Lines

February 19, 2015

Maintaining household drain lines before trouble occurs is a lot easier than dealing with a drain blockage after the fact. Indoor stoppages can render a kitchen sink or a bathroom drain unusable. If your underground sewer line clogs up, a backup of raw sewage into bathtubs and floor drains is only a matter of time. Professional services will be required for these emergency situations. While maintaining household drain lines can't prevent all possible problems, taking these steps can tilt the odds in your favor and keep waste water flowing freely.
  • Keep cooking oil, fats and grease out of your sink and disposal. Instead of pouring them down the drain, collect oil in used containers to be discarded with household trash.
  • Never flush non-dissolvable paper down the toilet. In most homes, the only disposable paper that can properly dissolve in drain lines is toilet paper. All other forms of paper should be disposed in the trash.
  • Try to keep tree roots out of your sewer line. Avoid planting trees or shrubs with aggressive root systems near the buried sewer line in your yard. A local nursery worker can recommend sewer-friendly plant species.
  • Regular drain cleaning can help stave off problems before they happen. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into each household drain, and then add a half cup of white vinegar. After waiting several minutes, flush the drain with a pan of boiling water.
  • Schedule an annual inspection by a professional plumber. He'll check your plumbing system for supply line leakage, as well as incipient problems in your drain lines. If sewer trouble is suspected, your plumber can visually inspect the entire length of the sewer lateral with a video camera to detect tree roots or a collapsed pipe segment.
For advice on maintaining household drain lines and how to deal with any plumbing problems that may occur in the Des Moines area, contact the professionals at Lozier Heating & Cooling. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "WEN WEN/Shutterstock"