A clogged drain is surely something we all wish to avoid (at all costs). Drains can be found everywhere in our homes, and they make up a big part of every household’s day-to-day. We use drains in our bathtubs, kitchen sinks, toilets, laundry areas, and more! Whether you like it or not, you will find yourself time and again, stuck with a clogged drain. Luckily, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to clean clogged drains and prevent them so that they don’t happen again.
What Causes Clogged Drains?
The leading causes of clogged drains are hair and soap buildup, but there are many other possible causes. For example, if you have a garbage disposal that is not running properly, it can cause clogs in your sink.
If you have a drain that is slow to drain, or even stops up completely, a clog in the drain line could be the cause. This can happen when you put something down your sink that does not belong there — such as food scraps or small toys.
You should also check the outside of your home for signs of sewer backups and other leaks that can cause similar problems inside your home.
Hate Clogged Drains? Do These…
Make it a habit to clean bathroom and kitchen drains after every use.
One of the most common causes of clogged drains is foreign objects that find their way through your plumbing trap holes. It is very common to find a thick buildup of fallen hair by the drain in bathrooms while we are bathing, more so by the time we finish. As these keep accumulating, it then develops into a cause for blockage within your plumbing system. For bathrooms, it makes a lot of sense to invest in a good strainer plug for your bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs.
Do not flush foreign objects down the toilet.
Toilets are designed to hold water and washable waste. Flushing down anything other than what is supposed to go in a toilet will cause you a world of pain and trouble. Foreign objects such as tampons, sanitary napkins, diapers, toilet paper, and such should never be flushed down the toilet. These materials are not meant to break down easily even if submerged in water for a long time. What this means is as you keep doing this, the build-up in your sewer line will eventually catch up with you. However, if you place a small trash bin to serve as a receptacle for anything that needs to be thrown away, it will help remind you and your family members to avoid flushing things down your toilet.
Dispose of your food scraps properly.
Food scraps left to wash down your kitchen drain are one of the biggest culprits that cause clogged drains. A good practice to keep especially after a meal is to always make sure that before you rinse your dishes, you have a food waste receptacle right beside you. Rinsing them and placing them in your bin along with everything else will leave you surprised to find out that they do not decompose as organic matter does. Instead, they will clog your pipeline until it backs up, leaving you with a clogged drain. What you’ll probably find more surprising is the ability of such items to last within your pipes for a very long time. At times, it could take months. Other times, they could go for as long as years.
Keep grease and oil away from your sink and drains.
When dealing with oil and grease in the kitchen, always keep this in mind: “Look before you leap.” Oil and grease trapped down your drain can be a greater headache than you think.
As anyone who’s ever dealt with a clogged drain knows, oil and grease are major problems when it comes to drains. Despite warnings, many people still choose to pour grease down their drains, opting for a quick cleanup of their clogged drain or sink. However, what people don’t realize is that even small amounts of grease can build up over time and causes blockages in their pipes. Additionally, running hot water down the drain does not prevent grease from solidifying and sticking to the sides of pipes. Oil may be going into your drain as a liquid. But as it cools and trails through your pipes, it starts to solidify. If you notice clumps of grease floating in your soup or coating the crockpot after making bacon, then you know how well grease sticks to surfaces. Now imagine those clumps sticking to your pipes and gradually building up over time.
Eventually, you’ll have a clogged drain that will need professional cleaning. Next time you’re tempted to pour oil or grease down the drain, it’s best to think about the consequences and dispose of it in the waste bin instead. One way to avoid this is to keep a can or jar specifically for collecting grease. This way, you can simply drain your pan or dish of oil into the container and let it solidify. This method works best if you often cook greasy food or if you have large amounts of grease to dispose of at once. But either way, it’s a good way to keep your drain clean and clog-free.
When sweeping dirt and dust, avoid sweeping it into floor drains.
Floor drains often get overlooked. Unsure as to what these are? Basically, floor drains are a lot similar to your bathtub or shower drains. The only difference is that they are usually found on garage floors, laundry rooms, basement floors, balconies, driveways, and patios.
Floor drains can be tricky little things. They’re the unsung heroes of your home or business. They sit quietly, capturing overflow from sinks, toilets, tubs, rain, etc., then directing it safely to a sewer or municipal storm drain so that the floor stays dry and rooms don’t flood. However, they get clogged up with grease and other gunk at times. Clean them out if they need it — it’s easy enough when you know what you’re doing!
If you smell foul odors coming from your floor drain, it’s because the traps have dried out. Floor drains have one of those U-shaped P-trap pipes just like your bathroom sink drain. That U-shaped pipe is designed to hold water. This is what stands in the pipe and prevents sewer gases from coming up through the drain. If you smell any sewer gas at all from your floor drain, grab a bucket of water and start pouring it into the floor drain as quickly as you can This will seal off sewer gases and let you see if the drain is working properly by seeing if anything comes out of it. If it isn’t clogged, it shouldn’t be able to do its job when called upon.
Look after your main sewer line and give it the attention and care it requires.
For many people, a clogged drain is an inconvenience. For others, it can be a major problem and even require emergency services. If you’ve been having recurring problems with your drain line and don’t know what to do about it, don’t panic. There are several ways to prevent these issues from happening again. And, they don’t involve calling in the professionals every time there’s a problem.
The first thing you can do is not wait to have your sewer line cleaned every year or two if, in fact, your sewer line is clogged regularly. To determine the source of the problem, most sewer service firms will “scope” the line. This comprises sending a remote camera down the line to conduct a visual inspection of the pipework system.
Tree roots entering via clay tile joints, a partially collapsed pipe, or even rotten cast iron could be the source of the recurring problem. This allows the earth to fall into the line and causes a blockage to form in the line. It’s worth it to spend the money to find out what’s causing the problem and have it addressed rather than having to deal with frequent sewer backups and sewer-cleaning fees. If you decide to hire a professional service provider for cleaning your drain lines, make sure that the service provider is licensed and follows all state guidelines for proper installation methods and materials used in its work.
How to Keep Your Drains Clean
You must clean your drains once a week. Pull out the pop-up stopper in your bathroom sink, clean out the drain of any debris, and rinse the stopper thoroughly before reinstalling it in the sink. To clean your shower or tub drain, remove the stopper and use a bent wire or a hair-catching brush to remove hair and other debris. For your bathtub drains, see to it that you flush them once a week. Then, fill your tub halfway through with hot water and drain the water while still hot. Do this to your shower drain too. Make sure to flush the shower drain with hot water as this process helps free up the drain line of any soap residue.
If you want to keep your drains in good condition, use a bacterial drain cleaning once a month. Biodegradable and non-corrosive in comparison to chemical cleaners, bacterial drain cleaners are less likely to cause damage to your system. Keeping drains free all year requires preventing obstructions in sinks, tubs, and showers. Simply cleaning and maintaining it regularly would be enough.
Put Bacteria To Work To Your Advantage Against Clogged Drains
Reaching for a chemical-based drain cleaner may tempt you if you are having trouble with clogged drains. However, chemicals can be harmful to your pipes, so it’s best to avoid them. Instead, try adding bacteria to your drains and letting it do the work of clearing out clogs!
Bacteria are good at breaking down organic materials such as hair, grease, and food particles that cause clogs in your drains. You can purchase bacteria in either granular or liquid form, and you can put them into your drains at night when no one is using them. By doing this, the bacteria have time to work without interference from other types of bacteria that might also be present in your pipes. The bacteria will eat organic materials and break them down into smaller pieces so they can flow through the pipes more easily. This reduces the likelihood of clogs forming in your drains.
This drain cleaner is non-corrosive, which means it will not damage your pipes, and the bacteria will not interfere with the bacteria in your septic system. Pay attention to the package’s directions. You should add the bacteria when everyone is asleep so it will have enough time to work. If you are looking for drain and trap cleaning solutions, you can search for them at your local home improvement centers and hardware stores. Depending on how many drains you treat, one packet should last several months.
Flush Your Drains Regularly To Avoid Clogged Drains
When it comes to saving water, low-flow toilets and faucets are fantastic. However, they are not so great when it comes to keeping drains free. Because debris is not carried away by the smaller volume of water, it frequently collects in your pipes and drains. You can avoid this problem by cleansing the pipes with a big volume of water on a regular basis. To keep the main drain line clear, fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and flush it while dumping it. In addition, fill your bathtub and sinks with hot water and flush it down the drain to eliminate bacteria.
Clogged drains are never a fun experience for anyone. But they don’t have to be a headache either. You can prevent clogged drains if you follow the tips we shared in this blog post. If all of this sounds like too much work or you’re already experiencing problems with clogged drains, you’ve got Call of Dooty’s league of plumbing pros at your corner anytime you need us.
Las Vegas’ Top Choice for Drain Cleaning, Leak Detection, and Other Plumbing Emergencies
Call of Dooty is a full-service plumber Las Vegas trust. We cater to both local business establishments and homeowners in Las Vegas Valley. We can handle even the most severe dangers to local sewage, so you won’t have to worry. Our friendly team of drain experts is happy to answer any questions you may have about all things drain cleaning. Contact us today at (702) 788-2513 to learn more.