Ever suffer from a backed up kitchen or bathroom drain? Of course you
have -- and you know what a mess it can be to clean them out.
You may be able to avoid some future clogs may if you follow a few
tips from the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Pour a pot of boiling water down the drains every month and a pot of
hot water plus a half-cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal to
help prevent clogging. Also, keep pop-up sink drains and strainers
clean and free of debris.
Keep fat, grease and coffee grounds out of drains and dishwashers.
Never pour paint or chemicals down drains. They can cause damage to
pipes or interfere with the proper functioning of the septic system.
For the pipes and plumbing itself, ASHI recommends homeowners do the
following:

Check all fixtures -- tubs, shower stalls, sinks, basins and toilets.
Make sure they are free of cracks, rust and other forms of surface
damage.
Remain aware of pipes that have been patched. Those should be
replaced as soon as possible, since patches are meant to be temporary
and may not hold out over time.
These few tips may save you the trouble and expense of calling a pro
when you get in a jam.