Tips On How To Keep Drains Unclogged
There are countless different reasons why homeowners call Murrayville Plumbing for drain cleaning. Sometimes the causes are seasonal, like frozen pipes or flooding. Other times the calls are for major emergencies, like sewage backup or septic tank problems. More often, the calls are for minor, easy-to-fix problems.
But while the calls vary greatly, there are a few that remain the most common year after year. Keep reading to learn about the most common drain cleaning calls in the Lower Mainland, and what you can do to make sure you won’t be the next caller.
Something Went Down the Drain
One of the most common drain cleaning calls is that something valuable or important has gone down the drain. Sometimes the item is neither valuable nor important, but the homeowner is worried that it’s going to cause an obstruction. There are few worse feelings than accidentally dropping your wedding ring or a prized earring down the drain.
While this is oftentimes an easy fix that the homeowner can tackle on their own with minimal tools, if the item has passed too far down the drain or the pipes are rusted and difficult to open, you may need professional help to get your belonging back.
There are Ways to Prevent Valuables Going Down the Drain
Once you have your ring back on your finger or safely tucked away, it’s time to make sure that this accident doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, unlike other common clogged drain cleaning calls, this is one issue that’s tough to ensure won’t happen again.
If you have large drains, putting a rubber, plastic, or metal strainer in place is one solution. However, these can get clogged easily by lots of loose hair, food, or other debris, and many homeowners find them unappealing.
Placing your jewelry somewhere other than your bathroom counter can also help cut down on the number of things that end up getting dropped down the drain as well.
Your drains don’t have to become completely clogged or your pipes flooding for you to call in professional help.
In fact, many of Murrayville Plumbings drain cleaning calls are about drains that are technically still working but are draining very slowly.
If your sink backs up before you’re done brushing your teeth, or you’re standing in an inch of water while showering, hair or other blockages have formed in your drains. This will cause water to drain increasingly slowly. If left untreated, your drains will likely stop draining completely before too long.
The source of slow drains vary. Sometimes a slow drain means that something has become lodged a short distance down your drain. This could include accumulating hair and soap residue, or foreign items that get accidentally dropped down the drain without you realizing it.
Slow drains can also signal that you have a clog or damage to pipes further down the line. Tree roots breaking through outside pipes or old, collapsed pipes can also cause your drains to slow or clog.
How to Prevent Slow Drains in the Future
Some problems that cause slow drains can’t be easily prevented. Unless you choose to replace all of your old pipes in and out of your home, keeping old pipes from collapsing is tough.
One way to prevent slow drains caused by outside influences is to cut back the roots of a tree that has previously caused damage to your pipes. You can also avoid planting trees or plants with thick, strong root systems near where the pipes lead into your home.
Preventing slow drains caused by inside issues is a bit easier. Using a stopper in your sinks and shower to keep hair from getting washed down, and cleaning that stopper often, is one great solution. Cleaning your drains regularly with an approved solution is another.
Odors Emitting From Drains
You might not be surprised if you notice a foul odor coming from your kitchen sink. While it may mean that your garbage disposal isn’t working or something has become lodged in your pipes, it’s an issue that won’t be entirely a surprise given how much gets stuffed down the drain in our kitchens
This common issue is sometimes also accompanied by slow drains, but that is not always the case.
Strong odors coming from sinks often have a surprising source; soaps and detergents. These form a residue in your sinks that will eventually begin to break down and smell. In addition, food, hair, and other items that get lodged in the residue contribute to the smell.
Another cause of foul odors coming from sinks is stagnant water that collects in bends in your pipes. Bacteria and mold can then grow in the water, causing a stench.
One final cause of stinky drains could be the pipes themselves. Old pipes break down, allowing mold and mildew to begin to form in the lining, eventually leading to a musty or foul smell.
Foul odors coming from the drains in your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen can be a pesky issue that’s tough to solve on your own. Some store-bought drain cleaners can actually damage your pipes. Rather than risk causing an even more expensive-to-fix problem, many homeowners choose to Murrayville Plumbing.
This is a common emergency drain cleaning call. If you have company coming over, you’ll want to get rid of the smell fast!
How to Stop the Stench in the Future
How you should treat this common drain cleaning call complaint varies depending on what’s causing it.
If you know that the cause is old pipes, replacing them is the only option that will provide lasting results. Otherwise, you’ll be treating the smell, but it will return as soon as your temporary solution starts to wash away.
If soap and detergent residue is the source of your stench, drain cleaning will fix the problem. Once you’ve had your drains professionally cleaned, you should either plan to schedule regular cleanings or find a safe cleaner that won’t damage your pipes.
If a bend in your pipe is causing moldy, stagnant water to collect, you may need to replace that section of pipe with one that won’t allow water to collect in this way if you want to get rid of the smell for good.
Perhaps the most common drain cleaning call is that drains are either constantly clogging, or a clog has occurred and the homeowner can’t get it to come loose.
Clogs can cause an annoying delay in your day. Each time one occurs, you’re left plunging, pouring, or trying every other trick you can find online to fix the problem.
Persistent clogs can cause other problems as well. Water backing up onto your tile, hardwood, or carpeted floors can cause mildew and mold to grow, as well as damage your floors. Anything else that gets in the way of the floodwater can get damaged as well.
Clogs are sometimes accompanied by disgusting slime that backs up into your sinks and shower or tub, as well as foul, musty odo
Prevent a Sink Clog in the Future
While clogs in sinks throughout a home are a common Toronto drain cleaning call, where the clog occurs changes what you can do to prevent a future one.
If the clog occurred in your sink, there are a number of common products that could have caused it.
Fruit peels, cooking oil, egg shells, and coffee grounds are all popular food items that can cause your drains to clog. Even if you have a garbage disposal, it’s best to toss these items in the trash, or in the case of oil and grease, into a container to dispose of properly, rather than sending them down the drain.
Another thing you can do to stop clogs in your kitchen sink is to run hot water down the drain after you flush any food particles down. This helps to keep sticky, thick substances from slowing on their way down.
If your clog occurred in a bathroom sink, other items are likely to blame. Hair is perhaps the most common culprit. Dental floss is another item that should never go down the drain. The more you can do to keep these items out of your sinks and showers or tubs, the fewer clogs you’ll have to get fixed.
The vast number of things that can cause a clog is one reason why this remains one of the most common Toronto drain cleaning calls year after year.
Multiple Clogs at Once
The most common clogs occur in a single drain at a time. Maybe it’s your shower, where hair is constantly getting washed down into your pipes. Or perhaps it’s your kitchen sink that sees the most daily activities and is therefore prone to clogs.
But if the problem isn’t in a sink at all, and is instead in an inner pipe, you may experience multiple clogs in different drains throughout your home, all at once.
This issue is often much tougher to solve than a single clog because it requires access to pipes that are further down the line. Where you might be able to treat a single clog from the drain where it occurred, a more serious clog in your pipes can sometimes require accessing pipes hidden within walls.
How to Put an End to Multiple Clogs
If the issue is caused by old pipes or outside blockages, there isn’t much you can do unless you want to update all of the pipes in your home. And even then, tree roots and other blockages can still damage new pipes.
The best thing you can do is follow the guidelines listed above to cut down on items getting flushed down your drains, such as hair, dental floss, and food particles that are tough on your drains.
Not all of our drain cleaning calls are the result of clogs, slow drains, or foul smells. Leaky pipes are a serious problem. If you catch them in time, you may be looking at a simple, inexpensive fix. But sometimes even a tiny leak is a sign of a much larger problem.
The pipes could be old and in need of replacement. If you need to replace all of your home’s pipes or even a portion, this can mean needing to get behind walls, shower tile, and more to access them.
If a leaky pipe isn’t found right away, it can cause extensive water damage, mold or mildew, and more.
How to Put a Stop to Leaky Pipes
Leaky pipes are a common drain cleaning call with a large number of causes. Some are completely out of your control, such as when a house settles and puts stress on pipes. Corrosion or damage in old pipes can also cause a leak but can be tough to detect unless you’re often within your walls checking on those pipes.
One way you can prevent leaks is by getting clogged drains fixed as soon as you notice a problem. A clog puts stress on the pipes, which can cause a leak.
Freezing weather like during the coming winter months can also cause pipes to freeze. When they warm up again, check any exposed pipes for signs that a leak or burst has occurred.
But while you may not be able to prevent leaky pipes not caused by clogs, there are a few things you can do to detect them fast, before they have a chance to do extensive damage.
Never assume that unusual amounts of water on the floors of your bathroom or kitchen is simply the result of a spill. Check underneath of your sinks and inside cabinets to make sure that water isn’t pooling.
Another way you can detect a leak is if you notice a reduction in water pressure. Unfortunately, if you do notice this, it could indicate a serious leak.
Tackling the Most Common Drain Cleaning Calls
Even if you follow all of the tips on this list to prevent these common Toronto drain cleaning calls, accidents still happen.
From leaking and clogged drains to sewage problems, damaged water lines, and more, when disaster strikes, it’s best to call in professional help to get the problem fixed before it gets worse.
Whether you’re suffering from one of these common problems or something more serious, we can help. Request a job estimate today to see how we can help fix all of you plumbing problems.