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Standing water, slow drains, and stinky grates all indicate one thing – you have a clog somewhere in your plumbing. While there’s no substitute for a professional drain cleaning service, there are a few things you need to know about the drains and plumbing systems in your house and out. This can help you reduce the number of clogs that your family creates and give you more insight when you do hire your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain professional.
Cooking Up Clogs in the Kitchen
The kitchen drains are one of the most common places in the home for clogs but preventing them can be simple. Many things can’t go down the kitchen drain, even if you have a garbage disposal. The way most kitchen pipes are configured, two different curved placements can create bottlenecks with a surprising amount of food debris.
There are a few key culprits for kitchen drain clogs that many plumbers mention the most. The first is, surprisingly, coffee grounds. These little guys can adhere to food debris and start clogs that can quickly get out of control. Other foodstuffs many people put down kitchen drains are banana peels and eggshells. Just make sure that if it’s solid, that it goes in the trash can.
Finally, cooking grease can make the largest (and smelliest!) clogs; it’s also the main reason that homeowners call for plumbers. While cooking greases, such as fat from ground meats or frying oil, may look liquid when it goes down the drain, once the grease cools, it solidifies and is surprisingly sticky. Any other food debris that goes down the drain will stick and create a clog. A drain cleaning service will help safely remove all the food debris and the clogs.
Bathroom Clogs and Causes
Let’s get the first bathroom clog culprit out of the way – flushing more than the “Three P’s.” There are a few things that many homeowners think can go down the toilet but shouldn’t regardless of how they’re marketed. Flushing unflushables down the toilet is one of the fastest reasons that you’ll need a drain cleaning service.
Some bathroom paper companies will market personal wipes as being “flushable“, but these wipes (and baby wipes) aren’t designed to disintegrate in the septic systems like toilet paper. In fact, these wipes are designed to hold their integrity while being used, and that design leads to little paper bits that can clog bathroom pipes and drains.
Feminine hygiene products can also contribute to clogs. While many women prefer to flush these products, over time, these can also build up and necessitate drain cleaning service. For families with women who use feminine care disposables or a family with a baby in diapers, it’s always best to throw these items away. Consider having a special trash can available instead.
Another cause of drain clogs in the bathroom is excess hair, especially in the tub or shower. If your home doesn’t have drain covers in the shower and tub drains, purchase these from your local hardware store. Many sizes fit common drains, and these slotted traps will catch hair before it gets into the pipes and creates clogs. These traps aren’t foolproof but using these (and cleaning them regularly) will reduce the need for drain cleaning service.
Clogs in the Laundry Room
The laundry room is often neglected when it comes to drain cleaning maintenance. But small lint particles can accumulate in these drains and lead to clogs. Hardware stores also sell pipe screens for laundry room pipes and, if you need help, ask your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain professional. Traps can prevent backups in the laundry room that damage your washing machine and necessitate drain cleaning service.
Here’s a tip: when you have your washing machine’s drain cleaned and inspected, schedule cleaning of the lint filter from the clothes dryer and the laundry room vents. This can reduce the build-up of fabric particles, which can be a fire hazard.
Basement Clogs and What They Mean
One of the places that many people forget to check for drain clogs is the basement. However, regular inspection of the basement drains can indicate a larger problem with your home’s plumbing and septic system that just as simple as drain clog.
When every drain in your basement, including the one underneath your hot water heater, backs up at the same time, you have a problem with the drainpipes leading from the city’s septic system. Back up from the city main or, in rural areas, from the sump pump, will cause the basement drains to back up all at once. If this happens, it can quickly become an emergency, and you’ll need a drain cleaning service, pronto.
If only one drain in your basement is clogged, it could mean that the piping in an above-ground room in your home has a clog, which will cause that drain to back up. Regular drain inspection and professional drain cleaning will eliminate the many basement drain clogs.
Look Hard at Your Yard
If you notice soft spots in your lawn, or patches of dampness in a few areas but not in the lawn overall – especially if it hasn’t rained recently, then you may have a clogged drain or leaking pipe between the exterior of your home and the city main. Also, look for bring green patches in your lawn, as this can indicate a clog and possible leak in your septic pipes. Clogs can travel from your home into the pipes between your house and the main system, so don’t neglect regular outdoor inspections and drain cleaning service.
When to Schedule Drain Cleaning Service
The best way to ensure that you have smoothly running drains and avoid expensive burst pipes or other repairs is to schedule regular preventative maintenance and drain cleaning service. Once or twice a year (your bluefrog Plumbing + Drain representative can tell which will work best for your home and your plumbing usage), a professional plumber can remove everything from your pipes and drains that contribute to clogs. Don’t wait – visit us online or give us a call today!