When you think about the general upkeep of your home, drain cleaning probably isn’t at the top of the list. In fact, many homeowners in San Antonio, TX probably don’t think about drain cleaning until it’s too late, and they have standing water or clogged pipes. Choosing the right plumber can safely remove the clog, instead of simply putting the proverbial band-aid on the problem.
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we take our job seriously, helping our friends and neighbors keep their pipes clear and working with you for scheduled preventative maintenance to reduce the chances of a messy plumbing emergency. We’ve even put together a primer on how to prevent clogs from occurring and how to identify when there’s a need for a plumber – before you spring a leak.
While there is no 100% surefire way to prevent clogs in your drains or pipes, there are many things, including regular drain cleaning, that can reduce large clogs and the wear and tear on your home’s plumbing.
In the kitchen
Even if you have a garbage disposal, it’s not intended to puree large pieces of food to pass through your kitchen pipes through the pipes and into the sewer. Your sink pipes go around corners and have U-bends, which can create areas that the food piles up, leading to clogs.
Beyond that, several things should always go into the trash instead of the kitchen sink. Coffee grounds tend to pile up and collect water and are one of the most common culprits of kitchen clogs. Eggshells and banana peels are other things that shouldn’t go in the kitchen sink, even if the garbage disposal chops them up. Finally, avoid putting cooking grease and oil in the sink. Although grease is liquid when it goes down, it hardens as it cools, forming a waxy ball that holds on to every piece of solid matter that goes down.
In the bathroom
Hair and pieces of soap are the leading causes of a slow draining shower or tub. If you don’t already have one, purchase a hair guard that snugly fits the drain of the shower or tub to trap stray hairs. Make sure to clean it regularly and invest in a slim plastic “snake” that can pull clogs out of the top part of the pipes. Bear in mind that these preventions don’t negate the need for professional service.
Bathroom sinks can get clogged if toothpaste clumps, pieces of soap, shaving cream, or even stray chunks of make-up become wedged in the small drains, and these, too, will require regular drain cleaning.
In the toilet
Only flush the “three P’s” in the commode: both types of human waste and paper. Other things, like baby wipes and personal care wipes or paper towels, while they seem flushable, actually aren’t. Toilet paper is created to disintegrate as it encounters water and the enzymes in the sewer system while facial tissues, paper towels, and wipes are constructed to retain their integrity, and won’t break apart in the sewers. Other things like condoms and feminine hygiene products should be wrapped up and thrown away in the trash.
How To Tell If You Need Drain Cleaning
The most obvious sign that you need drain cleaning service is an overflowing sink, toilet, or tub – however, these are worst-case scenarios. They typically require an emergency call to bluefrog. However, before it gets this far, these signs mean that a cleaning can solve your problem will less mess, effort, and expense.
Professional service includes a comprehensive service that surveys the pipes using a slim camera and technicians experienced in diagnosing many types of clogs and how to solve them without damaging your pipes.
Standing water in your sink means that there is a clog that’s entirely blocked the pipes. In these cases, only professional drain cleaning can solve the problem. There may be more than one clog, or the blockage may be too deep for traditional DIY cleaning. Plus, the excess pressure on a fully clogged pipe can cause a seam to burst, leaking into your walls or flooding your home.
Slow draining sinks or tubs
If you notice that you’re standing in an inch or two of water in the shower or if your bathtub is taking longer than usual to drain, then you have a partial clog somewhere in your pipes. Drain cleaning now can reduce the pressure that a fully clogged pipe suffers from and reduce the chances that you’ll have an emergency.
Foul smell or fruit flies in the kitchen
Food clogs in the kitchen sink will begin to rot, emitting a foul odor and creating a breeding ground for fruit flies, small gnats that hover above the sink.
Loud noises in the pipes
While plumbing systems aren’t supposed to be completely silent, neither should they be noticeably loud. If you hear bumping or gurgling, it could be the sounds of water hitting clogs and bumping them around.
If your sink backs up regularly, you may simply treat it with a solvent liquid that you can purchase at the local hardware store. However, a chemical drain cleaner isn’t powerful enough to fully dissolve the clog – only a trained plumber can fully remove it. Using these cleaners may break down enough of the clog for water to pass through, but as more debris accumulates in the sink, the clog will grow again, necessitating another dose of chemical drain cleaner.
Besides not fully removing the problem, these chemicals have another poor side effect. Because they’re chemically harsh, they have corrosive properties that wear down the material of your pipes and create thinner spots that are subject to leaks. Leave the liquid drain cleaner on the shelf and call a professional plumber that can fully solve your problem.
Schedule Your Drain Cleaning Service Today!
Are you tired of smelly drains and standing water? Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX, today to fix your drains, and then set up preventative drain cleaning to prevent these problems from happening again!