Pipe Maintenance Can Prevent Drain Backups

Good habits, routine maintenance can eliminate most backups

Clogged drain or sewer pipes can lead to messy problems in a church building. Hiring a professional to clean your lines regularly can save you from performing an even dirtier—and more expensive—job.

If your church’s water drainage pipes stop working properly, smelly black water can gurgle up through drains and damage the carpet, floors, and walls. To make things worse, mold will grow if water isn’t removed promptly.

Cleaning up this type of mess costs about $14,500 each time, based on claims submitted to Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. In addition, you have the hassle of dealing with a sewage backup that may interfere with church activities.

Fortunately, good habits and routine maintenance can eliminate most sewer and drain backups.

Avoid Kitchen Clogs

Kitchen clogs have two primary culprits: grease and rice. Grease solidifies like candle wax as it cools, coating the inside of pipes and gradually choking them off. Rice swells and clumps together when wet. Combine that with other food that enters a sink drain, and you’ll eventually get clogged pipes.

Good kitchen habits can help reduce these clogs:

  • Pour cooking grease into large cans or jars stationed beside sinks.
  • Wipe grease from pans with paper towels before washing pans.
  • Discard rice in the trash, not the sink.
  • Use a biological (not acidic) drain-cleaning product several times a year. These introduce “good” bacteria to feed on grease and keep pipes clean.

Perform Plumbing Maintenance

Have a professional plumber:

  • Inspect your sewer/drain lines every year or two.
  • Clean sewer/drain lines, if needed.
  • Ensure that lines are clear from the building to the city sewer connection.

Why Not Do It Yourself?

You can attempt to maintain your building’s pipes yourself, using a plumber’s snake. It’s better than not treating them at all, but many tools you can buy aren’t as effective as those used by commercial plumbing companies, some of which use high-pressure water jetting equipment instead of a plumber’s snake. A key part of preventing sewer and drain backups is ensuring that you remove any blockages between your building and the city sewer line.

Regular Maintenance Pays Off

Having a plumber check sewer/drain lines regularly is relatively inexpensive and can help you catch problems before they become emergencies. In addition, it gives you someone dependable to call if an emergency arises.