Homeowners can reduce the risk of drain clogs by being careful what they put down the drains in the house. Don’t flush items like cotton swabs, gauze, tampons, maxi pads, diapers, paper towels and heavier materials because those materials aren’t designed to break down easily.
Many plumbers say “flushable” wipes don’t really degrade well enough to be put down the toilet.
Other materials that can create problems include harsh chemicals, paint, oil or grease-based products. They may go down the toilet with seeming ease, but that doesn’t mean they won’t cause problems farther down the line.
Because sewer repairs often fall under the individual homeowner’s responsibility, preventive maintenance could end up saving thousands of dollars in potential damages. These five tips can help homeowners keep sewer pipes flowing freely:
- Inspect in advance: If you’re thinking of purchasing a home, add a sewer pipe inspection to your checklist of considerations before buying.
- Consider a video viewing: Have a professional examine your pipe with a camera to determine its condition. Then you can budget for repairs or replacement that may be needed down the line.
- Rout it out: If roots are already finding their way into your sewer lateral, you might buy some time before the next backup by having them cleared.
- Consider coverage: The majority of homeowners’ insurance policies won’t pay for sewer pipe replacement; however, you might find one that does if you shop around.
- Do your research: Before an emergency arises, talk to your plumber about whether a trenchless or traditional method of sewer pipe replacement might be right for your home. Keep this potential repair in mind when spending on landscaping or hardscaping that might be affected.