(StatePoint) If the idea of doing-it-yourself where plumbing is concerned sounds intimidating, fear not. There are many simple fixes to common plumbing problems that just about anyone can take care of without professional assistance. More importantly, performing these simple maintenance tasks as they are needed can prevent larger problems from occurring.
Not sure where to start? Try these quick plumbing tips from Jeff Devlin, a licensed contractor who’s appeared on several TV home improvement shows.
• Hair clogs: If you are accustomed to calling the plumber or snaking the drain when your tub is clogged, consider a simpler solution. Hair clog removers, available at your local hardware store or supercenter, are formulated with specific ingredients that work to dissolve hair and clear a drain on contact. For example, Roto-Rooter Hair Clog Remover works up to five times faster than other brands because it has 25 percent more hair dissolving ingredients.
You can also help slow down the forming of new clogs by ensuring all of your drains have strainers to catch hairs and other debris.
• Kitchen clogs: Grease, soap and food can get trapped in kitchen sinks -- it happens in every home sooner or later. The easiest way to clear these tough clogs is to use a solution designed specifically to cut through grease and food and open up a drain. Use 16 oz of a solution like Roto-Rooter’s Gel Clog Remover and wait about 10 minutes before flushing with water.
While a great clog remover can do wonders, you should try to dispose of larger amounts of grease in the garbage. Keep this in mind next time you are deep frying dinner!
• Septic backups: If you have a septic system, know that anything poured down any drain in your home will end up in the tank. So it’s very important to keep that system healthy. A septic system is not unlike the human digestive system -- it contains bacteria and enzymes which help to eliminate waste. However, sometimes the good bacteria and enzymes get destroyed by the things that get dumped into drains.
Just as you can add a probiotic to your personal digestive system to keep things in balance, in a septic system you can maintain balance by adding a septic treatment to your toilet. To avoid costly and messy backups, do this quick task once a month.
“Performing simple routine maintenance can save you time, money and a headache down the line,” says Devlin.