Up to 15% of the value of your property is tied to your plumbing system. Make sure that the water from your sinks, tubs and showers is draining properly and isn't leaking into your cabinets, walls or onto your floors. This is an easy way to avoid a large bill from a professional plumber down the road.
Remove hair. Remove hair routinely. It seems mindless, but people regularly forget to do this. If you have a problem with hair clogging your shower drain, try a drain guard. For best results, use one with very small holes. You can find these at your local hardware store for about $2.
Check out the stopper. If you have a pop-up stopper, it's a good idea to clean the hair and gunk off that, too. Pull up on the stopper until it stays raised. The stopper is connected by a pivot rod underneath the sink, so disconnect the rod by unscrewing the nut connecting the rod to the sink. Hold onto the nut and the pivot rod – you’ll be reconnecting them once you clean the stopper! Your stopper should be released once the pivot rod is out of the drainpipe. Thoroughly clean the released stopper, and then reconnect the pivot rod with the nut.
Make sure the water is draining. Take care of your drains before they get totally stopped up! Turn on the water in all of your sinks, showers, and tubs and make sure that the water is draining quickly. If any of your sinks are draining slowly, then click here for how to clean out the p-traps. If your tubs or showers are draining slowly, then click here for how to get them draining smoothly again.
Check your p-traps. Be proactive and take a quick look under all of your sinks to make sure that your p-traps (the u-shaped pipes under your sinks) are not leaking. Simply check the cabinet under the p-trap for any signs of moisture. If you see evidence of a leak, then check to make sure that all of the pipe connections are nice and tight. If they are, then it's likely time for a new p-trap. Click here for step-by-step instructions on replacing your p-trap.
Tip: Fill each sink 3/4 full with water and then let the water rush down the drain. The weight of the water in the sink can push any debris in the pipes into the main drain and also give the sides and top of the pipes a little cleaning.