One of the basics of drain maintenance is that you should have your drains professionally serviced anytime they become clogged, as well as having them cleaned on a regular basis to prevent clogging. However, not every drain needs the exact same care all the time; your drain repairs or even at-home drain care may vary slightly between drains.
Here are some considerations for at-home drain care for different types of clogged drains.
Plastic Versus Metal Drains
While you may be able to keep metal drains cleaner by pouring boiling water down them, you should never do this with plastic drains. Not only can plastic drains warp in high heat, but the expansion and contraction may cause seals and joints to work loose. Eventually, that could lead to a drip or leak from your drain.
Another difference between metal and plastic drain care is that plastic drains may be even more susceptible to damage from chemical drain cleaning products.
These types of products aren't great for any drains; they can corrode even metal drains over time. But they can actually melt plastic drains and warp them out of shape (since chemical reactions can create high heat), resulting in severe damage.
Bathroom Versus Kitchen Drains
One important aspect of home drain care is keeping your drains free of clogs. The types of clog-causing materials you'll need to protect them from differ based on where the drain is located. For instance, a bathtub or shower drain may experience hair-based clogs, while a kitchen drain may become clogged with food debris and fats.
One difference between these types of clogs is that hair-based clogs may be relatively easy to remove with a simple drain snake made of plastic. Any clog that you can't resolve with this gentle tool should be treated by professionals. The more heavy-duty clog-busting tools (such as metal augers) are strong enough to harm drains if they are wielded by someone who is inexperienced.
Indoor Versus Outdoor Drains
The one outdoor drain every home has is the main sewer line, also called the main drain line. It takes the wastewater from your indoor drains to the sewer system or septic tank. While you can't easily access this drain to pour hot water down it or place a protective screen in front of it, you can still have the drain professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
Unlike with indoor drains, you need to take steps to protect your outdoor drain from tree roots, which are a common clogging threat for these drains. Make sure you keep all trees and deep-rooted bushes in your landscape far away from the drain line so they can't get their roots inside and clog the drain up.
These differences can help you care for differently constructed or situated drains correctly. Don't forget to schedule professional maintenance for both your indoor drains and your main sewer line.
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