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Arguably one of the single most important components of your San Antonio, TX home’s plumbing system is its drains, which makes drain cleaning vital. This keeps your plumbing up and running as it should. If you’re like most homeowners, though, you have no idea when it’s time to clean your drains unless you start experiencing problems—and by then, your pipes may require additional service or repairs. Let’s take a look at some of the top signs that your home’s drain cleaning has been put off too long—and it’s time to get a plumber on the job pronto.
Look Out For:
- Slow-running drains: Does it seem like it takes forever for your kitchen sink to drain or for water in the tub to disappear once the plug is pulled? If so, you may be dealing with a clog in the drain. If you experience slow drains in more than one part of the home, then you might e looking at a sewer line clog, which sounds ominous but can be a fairly easy fix for an experienced plumber. Depending on the severity of the clog, you may be able to flush it out by yourself using a mixture of hot water and mild detergent with baking soda and vinegar. If this fails, reach out for repairs.
- Fixtures that back up: Toilet backing up into the tub? Washer backing up into the sink? These are huge warning signs that there’s a blockage in a drain somewhere. Water moves just one way in sinks, toilets and tubs—if it is backing up, it’s going the opposite direction that it should be and this usually means something is impeding its flow. Get your San Antonio, TX drain cleaning professional out right away to inspect your pipes and find the source of the blockage.
- Mold growing near a drain: Mold is a super nasty substance that thrives in dark, damp areas of the home. It smells horrible and it can be horribly toxic to human health. If you’re seeing mold near your drains, then it’s a surefire bet that you have a leak somewhere nearby. Call out a pro plumber for drain cleaning and leak repair, and see a professional for mold eradication too.
- Icky smells: Smelling something malodorous near your drains or on your lawn? You could have a sewer line break, and the smell you’re experiencing is the smell of toxic sewer gas seeping into your home through various cracks. Call on your plumber to inspect your lines and clean your drains; he’ll be able to quickly identify the source of the odor in most instances and offer a suitable remedy to rid you of the petulant smell.
- Inflated water bills: Experiencing sticker shock when you get your monthly water bill? Don’t be surprised a super-size water bill isn’t a harbinger of a leak or obstruction in your pipe system. The easiest way to determine what’s going on with your inflated bill is to get your professional drain cleaner on the job. He will perform a thorough inspection and drain cleaning, identifying the issue and putting a repair in place to return your bill to normal again.
- Creepy crawlers afoot: Are you seeing an influx of bugs or mice in the home? While these are common pests that can gain access in a myriad of ways, if you notice them in the kitchen or bathroom, then it could be that your sewer line has a crack, and they’re getting in that way. Seek out the advice of your plumber, who can perform drain cleaning and inspection to determine if these little boogers are taking advantage of your situation to make themselves at home.
- Flies buzzing: Just like bugs and mice infiltrate the home through a broken sewer line, fruit flies and drain flies are attracted to sewage, garbage and waste, including clogged waste in ill-performing pipes. The scent of a blocked drain can send flies packing to your home in droves, which is not just annoying, but can also (in the case of fruit flies) pose a risk to human health.
- Weird sounds: Does your drain emit a strange noise? If so, it’s likely that you need drain cleaning ASAP. Blocked or clogged drains can lead to water being forced to change its course or make its way through smaller spaces. When this happens, it is not unusual to hear a bubbling or gurgling commotion coming from the pipes.
Is There Anything You Can Do?
The short answer is “possibly.” If something is blocking a drain line on the tub or sink, then you may be able to use a plunger to force the object out. Be sure to have a bit of water in the tub or sink before you begin plunging—ideally, there should be enough water to cover the base of the plunger. Just position the plunger over the suspected clogged drain, and plunge. Do not use excessive force when plunging, as this can cause additional problems.
Non-toxic drain cleaners can also be effective on some clogs, including a mixture made from one cup each table salt and baking soda with a ¼-th cup of water. Enzymatic drain cleaners can also be effective; these cleaners “eat” organic materials that are common culprits of clogs and blockages, including grease and hair, clearing the way for water to flow more freely.
Preventative maintenance is also important. Avoid putting grease or solid matter down the drain, and be careful about the food waste you add to your garbage disposal. Clean your drains regularly, and see your plumber for repairs quickly after noticing signs that something’s amiss.