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4 Ways Your Damaging Your Drains… And You Don’t Even Know It!

In frugal households all over the world, stalwart parents fight a never ending battle against unnecessary expense. We plan and prepare our meals with panache, ensuring that we’re never tempted to throw money away on take out. We always re-purpose when we can, turn off the lights when we’re not in a room and we even unplug devices when they’re not in use. You’ll find that every light in our homes is an energy saving bulb and we’re a dab hand at only using the thermostat or AC when we absolutely need to.

But what’s the point in all that scrupulous penny watching if we’re going to throw away our savings on pricey household repairs. Very often household repairs are fairly low key. Heck, with the right tools and a YouTube tutorial, we can probably do most of them ourselves. But then there are repairs that can be pretty pricey. In some cases, expensive household repairs are necessary when we simply don’t take good enough care of the “behind the scenes” aspects of our home.

The plumbing pixies

What happens after we brush our teeth, flush our toilets or empty those dirty plates into the waste disposal? It’s obvious right? Magical pixies come and transport the water (and any detritus) therein to a parallel dimension where it is collected, compacted then set on a catapult which launches it directly into the sun. Okay, so most of us know that this is decidedly not the case, but the way we treat our drains, anyone would think it was. The truth is that we quite often do damage to the intricate plumbing infrastructure of our homes without even knowing it. While we may not be able to see the effects straight away they can all add up and lead to some serious problems that can result in a huge repair bill if we’re to rectify them.

As in most things, prevention is the best cure when it comes to plumbing and drainage. It’s time to educate ourselves and nip those behaviors that can damage our plumbing in the bud as soon as possible.

Get to grips with grease

You’d think that the average plumber fears nothing so much as the average clogged toilet. Surely, there’s no more wretched collection of unsavory materials. But you’d be wrong. Experienced plumbers fear restaurant sinks far more. This is because they do far more cooking than your average household and as such, a whole lot more food waste goes down the sink. Most food waste is fat based, and while it may slide down the plug hole without complaints, it doesn’t stay in this state for long. When hot fat hits the rest of the water in your drains it quickly cools and solidifies, acting as a trap for every piece of food matter that gets washed down the sink. Over time this food waste putrefies and creates something far worse than what you leave in the toilet. Although restaurants are the prime offenders here, we’re all guilty of emptying our food waste down the sink and praying to the plumbing pixies to spirit it away.

Believe it or not, frugal homes can be the worst offenders here. Lots of frugal homemakers make their own cosmetics and toiletries from toothpaste to moisturizing lotion. One of the most common bases for these products is coconut oil which can harden in the drains and lead us to look into drain cleaning service options. Never tip your hot fats down the sink. Instead, place them in a safe container, and throw them in the trash when they cool and harden. Gresham drain cleaning is a great option if you are needing some professional cleaning done. 

Do you really need all that toilet paper?

First of all, we flush a lot of stuff down the toilet which can wreak havoc with our plumbing. Wet wipes, and sanitary napkins (which are designed to expand when they come into contact with water) are among the worst culprit. Even “flushable” wipes can get clogged in the plumbing network and create serious problems. But aside from all this, our overuse of toilet paper can often lead to an embarrassing phone call. Aside from costing us a small fortune to replace it, toilet paper overuse is one of the most common causes of toilet blockage. Nobody needs to use 5 sheets at a time. Absolutely nobody.

Moreover, many commercially available brands of toilet paper use harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the environment. Consider changing to a more eco friendly, biodegradable bamboo based alternative. Not only will you be doing the environment a favor, you’ll also make blockages a thing of the past.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

We tend to lose around 50-100 strands of hair every single day. Most of the time this comes when we palpate our scalp, causing hairs to come loose. Needless to say, then, that washing your hair accounts for a whole lot of hair loss. Over time (and depending on the size of your family) these hairs can accumulate in your drains and combine with soap scum to create that icky blackish substance that lurks in drains and can lead to blockages. If you have a lot of pets, these tend to shed hair at a far higher rate than their human friends, and thus can leave a small stretch of carpet in your drains when bathing them. Pet fur is more profuse, thicker and stronger than human hair and so far more likely to result in a blockage.

Drain protectors are your best guard against this common occurrence, while cleaning out your drains regularly with a mild abrasive or boiling hot water can also be extremely helpful. Which brings us to…

Ditch the Drano

When we encounter a slow draining or clogged sink or bath our first instinct is to reach out for a harsh and abrasive chemical cleaner. Not only are these lousy for the environment, they can actually do significant damage to your pipes. Instead of these harsh astringents, use a combination of baking soda, spirit vinegar and boiling water. You’ll find them every bit as effective (no, really), a whole lot more cost effective and both your pipes and the planet will thank you for it.

2 thoughts on “4 Ways Your Damaging Your Drains… And You Don’t Even Know It!

  1. If your drain gets so clogged that a plunger won’t clear the way, don’t immediately resort to the use of chemicals. Chemical drain cleaners may clear the blockage, but they also eat away at the lining of your pipes. Instead, call in a professional who has the tools and experience to get the clog cleared.

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