Very few people look forward to doing annual drain maintenance. Yet, cleaning a drain is an essential part of home maintenance. Failure has consequences, including potential damage to your sewer system, so you should understand why it’s important and how to best accomplish it.

You Never Think About a Drain – Until Suddenly, You Do

No one wants to consider drain maintenance; there’s already enough to keep you busy without considering something that seems to be working fine. However, buildup of grease and corrosive materials can eat away at the sewer lines, causing leaks and possibly damage to surrounding areas. Regularly removing the buildup will help preserve the life of your lines and virtually eliminate clogs.

One way to remove the gunk that lines your sewer system is to use clog-removing chemicals found at most hardware stores. This is fine for occasional use on sudden obstructions. However, there’s two significant issues with this: first off, it’s not particularly useful for removing the nasty buildup if it isn’t causing a clog, and second, those chemicals, which usually contain sodium hydroxide, can also damage your sewer lines by softening the materials they’re made from, causing leaks.

Proper Equipment Makes All the Difference

Licensed plumbers don’t usually use chemical drain cleaners, they have a few other methods of drain maintenance and clog removal. Perhaps their most well-known tool is the snake, a long, spring-like auger that burrows into the pipe to remove clogs without damaging anything. They also use hydrojetting, which is a high-pressure hose that blasts away all the accumulation and, again, doesn’t harm the pipes. Hydrojetting is usually the preferred annual maintenance method that many plumbers use.

Every few years, it’s ideal to do a thorough inspection of the sewer system to identify any potential trouble spots. Plumbers use a tiny camera that delves deep into your system, looking for buildup, loose connections and leaks. These inspections are significantly cheaper than having to replace a large amount of sewer lines, and some insurance companies may even offer premium reductions if you maintain your property correctly.