Do you have a bathroom that doesn’t get used very often? Perhaps it’s in the mudroom or the guest room. Maybe you have a sink in the basement or a sink in your wet bar that is rarely turned on. 

While the lack of use can cut down on some of the regular maintenance and cleaning tasks, don’t neglect these areas of your home. Leaving them untouched can have unwelcome consequences. And no, we’re not just talking about a little bit of dust. 

Leaving sinks and showers (read anything with a drain pipe) unattended for long periods of time runs the risk of inviting pests and sewer gas into your home. 

Drains Are Designed to Keep Gas and Pests Out

Drains are equipped with p-traps — u-shaped portions of pipe that are designed to always have a bit of water inside. The water provides a type of seal. This helps protect your home from larger plumbing systems. 

Unfortunately, if a drain isn’t used, the water in these traps can evaporate. This can allow drain flies (aka sewer flies) and sewer gas to enter your home.

Run Your Faucet to Keep Your Home Safe

The easiest way to prevent this evaporation is to occasionally run your faucet. Simple turning on infrequently used faucets from time to time can help prevent stagnant water from sitting in showerheads, drainpipe evaporation and more. 

Take the following quick steps to keep pests and odors from your home:

  1. Run water in your sink for 1-3 minutes on hot. This helps kill bacteria.
  2. Run the water in your shower (or tub) for 1-3 minutes on hot. If your shower is equipped with a flexible showerhead, try to place it as close to the drain as possible. 
  3. Flush your toilet. 

Try to do these tasks weekly or monthly to keep your home safe. 

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