Nobody wants a clogged sink, a leaky pipe or a toilet that won't flush. These plumbing disasters can be unhealthy, annoying and expensive to fix. While the occasional plumbing issue is inevitable, there are a number of things you can do to keep your plumbing healthy and free from issues.
How to keep your plumbing healthy
1. Be careful what you flush. So-called "flushable" products are one of the leading causes of bathroom plumbing issues. Don't flush tissues, diapers, feminine products, kitty litter, wipes and other such products—no matter what the manufacturer says on the packaging. The only non-human by-product that should go down your toilet is toilet paper.
2. Use a strainer in your bathroom drains. Hair is another enemy of your bathroom plumbing. Even a few strands can get tangled together, blocking the flow of water over time. Avoid this by keeping hair from going down your bathroom sink, shower and/or bathtub drain by inserting small, inexpensive strainers over the opening of the drains.
3. Never pour grease or oil into your drains. Cooking oils and grease will solidify in your pipes and create a mess, no matter how much hot water you use with it. Eventually, somewhere along the pipeline, that oil will start to form a solid mass in your pipe. A better idea is to pour cooking oil into an old coffee can or milk carton and then dispose of it with the trash.
4. Run hot water through your drains regularly. Letting hot water run through your drains once a week or so will help to loosen any growing clog before it can become a problem. Adding a little baking soda to the rinse can also help to dislodge any potential obstacles and also will leave your drains smelling fresh.
5. Be careful how you use your garbage disposal. A garbage disposal can make it easier for you to rinse off small bits of food, but it shouldn't be used as a food grinder. Be careful about putting hard foods, like celery and carrots, in the disposal. Not only will these types of foods dull your disposal blades, but pieces can adhere together and create a clog.
If, despite your best efforts, you still have a plumbing issue, it's time to call the professionals (such as Qualtire Plumbing & Construction). A good plumber has professional equipment that can have your sink or toilet unclogged quickly and without resorting to potentially-toxic chemicals.