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How Often Should I Have My Drains Cleaned to Prevent Clogs?

A plumber cleaning a drain with a tool.

Clogged drains can cause a lot of inconvenience and frustration. They can lead to foul smells, slow drainage, and even damage to your plumbing system. Many homeowners wonder how often they should have their drains cleaned to prevent clogs. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and provide you with some tips to keep your drains running smoothly.

What Causes Drain Clogs?

Before we dive into how often you should clean your drains, it’s essential to understand what causes drain clogs. Clogs occur when foreign objects, grease, or hair build up in your pipes, blocking the flow of water. Some of the most common causes of clogged drains include:

  • Food waste
  • Grease and oil
  • Soap scum and hair
  • Foreign objects like toys, sanitary products, and wipes
  • Tree roots

How Often Should You Clean Your Drains?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size of your household, the age of your plumbing system, and the frequency of use. Generally, it’s recommended that you have your drains cleaned every 1-2 years. However, if you have a large family, a lot of pets, or an older plumbing system, you may need to have them cleaned more frequently.

It’s also a good idea to have your drains cleaned if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Slow draining sinks or showers
  • Foul smells coming from your drains
  • Gurgling noises coming from your toilet
  • Water backing up in your sink, shower, or toilet

If you notice any of these issues, it’s essential to have your drains cleaned as soon as possible. Ignoring them can lead to more significant problems, including sewer backups and water damage.

DIY Drain Cleaning Tips

While it’s always best to hire a professional to clean your drains, there are some things you can do to help prevent clogs from occurring in the first place. Here are some DIY drain cleaning tips to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid pouring grease or oil down your drain. Instead, wipe it off with a paper towel and throw it in the trash.
  2. Use a drain strainer to catch food waste, hair, and other debris before it can enter your pipes.
  3. Flush your drains with hot water once a week to help break up any buildup.
  4. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners as they can damage your pipes and harm the environment.

When to Call a Professional

While DIY drain cleaning can be helpful, there are times when you need to call a professional. Here are some signs that it’s time to hire a drain cleaning expert:

  • You’ve tried DIY methods, but your drains are still clogged.
  • You’re experiencing frequent drain clogs.
  • Your home is older, and you haven’t had your drains cleaned in several years.

When hiring a drain cleaning professional, be sure to choose a reputable company with experience in the industry. Look for companies with good reviews and certifications from professional organizations.


In conclusion, having your drains cleaned regularly is an essential part of maintaining a healthy plumbing system. While the frequency of cleaning will depend on several factors, it’s generally recommended that you have them cleaned every 1-2 years. By following the DIY tips mentioned above and knowing when to call a professional, you can help prevent clogs and keep your plumbing system running smoothly.