If you run into a clogged drain or leaking pipe, you might be wishing you had a plumber friend you could call to ask for some free advice. Then at least you might repair your plumbing issues without a large bill (or at least not as much as a plumber may charge you to go out and diagnose or fix the problem).
If you don’t have a plumber on speed dial, consider the experts at Sewerheroes your friend and give us a call, we can usually give you a pretty good idea over the phone what needs to be done to get the water flowing in your pipes before we even dispatch the service call.
If you were wondering what you might do as a homeowner to clean, prevent, and get rid of clogged drain lines. Here is some advice we don’t mind handing out for free.
Plumbers Don’t Recommend Chemicals
First off plumbers do not recommend using any type of chemical drain cleaner on your pipes. If you have a clog, it’s better to try and remove it by plunging or snaking the drain.
Chemical drain cleaners will only damage your pipes.
Consumer reports suggest that most chemical drain cleaners can cause more problems than they solve. Some create chemical reactions with aluminum and give off unhealthy gas, can solidify inside the pipes and can’t be removed, or mix with other household cleaners and cause the mixture to burst out of the drain. Other chemical cleaners are just downright hazardous to your plumbing system, not to mention the health and safety of your family and home.
There are some bio-cleaners out there but most just aren’t as effective as good old elbow grease and drain cleaning tactics.
So what can you do to unclog your drain? Here are a plumber’s suggestions:
Bathroom Sinks & Tubs:
Most plumbers will tell you that the number one cause of bathroom sink clogs is from toothpaste and long hair. If you have a clog in your bathroom sink or tub, Sewerheroes recommends starting with a Hot Water flush. Fill the sink or tub with hot water and then pull the plug… Let gravity and hot water do the job.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to plunge the drain, use a snake or physically remove the clog if you can reach it.
Preventing bathroom clogs:
We suggest using the hot water flush for routine maintenance as well by running hot water after showers or brushing your teeth to make sure the warm water dissolves the water-soluble materials in your toothpaste or shampoo. For longer hair, invest in a drain saver for your bathtub that catches longer hair and lets you throw it away, instead of taking it down the pipes where it gets caught up and clumps and clogs. Better still, when you’re at your bathroom sink, just don’t flush hair down the drain.
The only things that should ever go down the drain are human waste and toilet paper. Anything else is probably too large, won’t biodegrade, and will possibly get caught in the pipes. There’s nothing worse than a backed up toilet. If plunging and snaking a toilet doesn’t get rid of the clog, it may be time to call in the Sewerheroes.
Preventing toilet clogs:
Make sure to only flush things that are supposed to go down a toilet, down the toilet.
Throw away everything else in the garbage:
- Nail Clippings
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Dental Floss
- Cotton Tipped Swabs
And never rinse them down the sink, tub, or toilet.
Kitchen Drain Plumbing Services
If you have a clogged kitchen drain, Sewerheroes suggests the hot water flush with some grease fighting dish soap to loosen and eat away at the clog.
Run extremely hot water down the drain to soften the clog, following up with grease-dissolving dish soap. If the clog still hasn’t come loose, gently put the kitchen plunger to work and try putting hot water and dish soap down the pipes again.
You can also try putting a foaming mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar down the pipes to provide a natural way to get rid of clogs and not damage the pipes.
Plumbers preventions for kitchen drain clogs:
You can prevent kitchen drain clogs by keeping grease away from the pipes. Think about what happens to kitchen grease when you leave it in a frying pan, that hardened subastance is the same thing that happens in your pipes and over time creates blockages that leads to clogs. It’s better to put grease in a jar that you can throw away after it has solidified. You can also use a wire mesh filter on top of your kitchen drain to keep clog-causing food out of the drains.
If you have a garbage disposal, you should always run it with some extra water after using it to make sure food scraps are pushed down the drain line. Make sure to keep things like eggshells, stringy vegetables (like celery or carrots), and foods that expand with water out of the pipes. All of these can create clogs. If you do end up having a clog and it won’t get out with hot water, dish soap, and plunging, it’s time to give the expert drain cleaning plumbers at Sewerheroes a call.
Overall, plumbing experts say the best way to clean out clogged drains is by mechanical means (plunging and snaking) and some hot water. Stay away from chemical cleaners as they can damage your pipes and are hazardous to humans.
You can trust the experts at Sewerheroes to always arrive on site with all the right tools and expertise to fix any drain problem. Give us a call today at (403) 354-4376.
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