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How to Protect Your Pipes and Prevent Clogs

As you might expect from the City of Trees, Sacramento has lots of root intrusion that can cause damage to pipes. Alongside the danger posed by trees, the area also has low-flow plumbing fixtures that tend to not fully clear pipes of everyday substances, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and waste. Thankfully, all hope is not lost. Sacramento homeowners can easily protect their pipes and prevent clogs in a few easy steps. The sewer and drain experts at Bonney are here with 6 tips that can help save your sewage system. 

1. Avoid Placing Certain Foods in Your Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners treat their garbage disposals as a one-stop solution for excess food. However, putting the wrong substances down your garbage disposal can spell disaster for your pipes and drains. 

While garbage disposals can grind up some foods into a manageable size, you’ll want to avoid placing sticky or thick foods into them. Some of the main foods you should never try to grind with a garbage disposal include potato skins, coffee grounds, eggshells, and banana peels.

Additionally, it’s essential to avoid pouring cooking grease down your drains. While cooking grease is a liquid while hot, it thickens into a solid after cooling. This grease can then clog your pipes and back up your system. Instead, put grease in your garbage can once it cools.

How Do You Use Your Garbage Disposal? 

Another thing to keep in mind: your garbage disposal and your kitchen drain pipes are two separate entities designed to work together. Garbage disposals are made to grind and chop food up as quickly as possible. While your garbage disposal can work fast with large quantities of food, drains often have a smaller capacity. Too much too fast is a perfect storm for creating clogged kitchen sinks. 

2. Protect Your Pipes from Low-Flow Fixtures

Low-flow plumbing fixtures are standard in homes and businesses across the west coast. While these fixtures are necessary for conserving water, saving money, and protecting the environment—they do not do your pipes any favors. Instead, they often do not provide enough water to fully flush your pipes clean of waste, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, and more. These substances begin building up in your pipes, which could capture hair and debris in turn worsening clogs—especially within your U-shaped pipe (p-Trap) underneath your sinks.

Thankfully, there are a few easy steps you can take to help prevent low-flow plumbing fixtures from impacting your sewer and drains:

  • Double flushing: The fix to low-flow toilets is simple. Consider flushing twice when it is necessary to fully clear your lines. 
  • Extra water: This solution is similar to double flushing. When your toilet needs it, you can pour extra water (a gallon or two) into the tank for a more comprehensive flush.
  • Spit toothpaste into the toilet: Not only does this help conserve water, but it also prevents toothpaste from hardening in your sink pipes. 
  • Mindful showers: Here is one pipe-saving tip you might enjoy—a little extra time in the shower can help prevent clogs. After rinsing your soap, give the water a little time to flush your pipes.
  • Debris traps: Consider equipping your sink and shower drains with traps to catch the hair and debris that accelerate clogs. 
  • Avoid chemicals: Instead of flushing your pipes with harmful chemicals that erode your pipes, consider investing in regular drain cleaning services. 

3. Don’t Flush “Flushable” Wipes or Other Paper Products Down the Toilet

Another way you can protect your pipes is to only flush toilet paper down your toilets. Other paper products, like paper towels, will struggle to deteriorate in your drains, leading to clogs. Other items, such as menstrual products, dental floss, and diapers, can also clog your system and lead to pipe damage.

One of the biggest culprits of drain clogs is “flushable” wipes. While you can find several wipes marketed as “flushable” on shelves, these wipes can wreak havoc on a home’s sewer system. While toilet paper is made to break down within pipes, flushable wipes are usually made with synthetic materials that take weeks, months, or even years to disintegrate. As a result, flushable wipes can linger in your pipes. Their abrasive surfaces also attract grime and other contaminants—escalating the buildup and clogs in your system. As such, wipes should go in a trash can rather than down the drain. 

4. Take Action on Minor Issues Fast

Plumbing systems are often “out of sight, out of mind.” This makes it easy for homeowners to ignore warning signs in the early stages of sewer and drain issues. While it can be tempting to put off seemingly minor repairs, small problems can quickly grow into more costly damage. Some primary warning signs you are due for drain cleaning include slow-clearing drains, water backups, and frequent DIY drain cleaning.

Besides these issues, you’ll also want to watch out for visible signs of wear on your pipes, valves, and fittings—such as rust, corrosion, and mildew. Pipes that make gurgling, banging, hissing, or rattling sounds are also trying to warn you of upcoming troubles. 

To ensure these small issues don’t turn into major problems, you’ll want to take action fast by having sewer and drain technicians come out to inspect your system, complete any routine maintenance, and make any needed repairs.

5. Protect Your Pipes From Tree Roots

In places like Sacramento with widespread tree root intrusion, how can you keep your pipes safe?

Keep an eye out for signs of tree root damage. Some of the main signs of tree root damage include gurgling drains, sinkholes on your property,  and foul smells coming from your drains. By catching these warning signs early, you can save your lawn from an open trench sewer replacement by qualifying for a trenchless pipelining sewer repair or trenchless sewer replacement service. 

6. Schedule Regular Sewer and Plumbing Services

While you can follow a few tips to avoid clogs and pipe damage from occurring, some issues are inevitable. As a result, it’s important to sign up for regular sewer and drain inspections, cleanings, and maintenance from a trusted company like Bonney. Trained experts with professional-grade equipment can catch minor issues before they result in lasting damage. 

When you invest in regular sewer and plumbing services, you can end up saving money long-term in major pipe repairs or replacements. Regular inspections also help keep your drains cleaner, as a technician will clear them out and lessen the risk of clogs. Best of all, these inspections give you peace of mind and confidence that your sewer system is protected.

Turn to Bonney for Sewer and Drain Service in Sacramento

With the risk for Sacramento pipe clogs, you need a company that knows the ins and outs of sewer and drain services for the area. At Bonney, we regularly provide sewer and drain services to homes and businesses in the Sacramento area. We provide preventative maintenance, inspections, cleanings, and care to prevent damage before it occurs. We also regularly assist our clients by providing trenchless pipelining sewer repair or replacement services, which let us restore your sewer system without destroying your landscape. In addition to our everyday low prices, we also offer coupons, deals, discounts, and savings to ensure you get high-quality service at the lowest possible price.

You can review our drain and sewer services here today, and make your appointment online when you are ready to get started! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for support. We look forward to helping you, your home, and your wallet stay protected with our local sewer and drain services.