Clogged drains… they happen. They shouldn’t happen often, but it’s rare for a homeowner to go a full year without experiencing this hassle at least one time. Usually, a clogged drain presents little trouble for a professional plumber to clear, although occasionally a clog may indicate a larger problem within a home’s plumbing.
The Salt Lake City plumbing experts at Design Comfort have many years of experience cleaning out blocked drains. We’ve put together a list of the common reasons that clogs happen, some of which you can avoid in the future with a few precautions.
- Oil, fat, and grease: One of the most common mistakes people make with their drains in the kitchen is to pour hot oil, fat, or grease down them (or the disposal). Although these liquids seem harmless, they solidify into a thick waxy substance after they dry. This will start to build up on the inside of the drainpipes and eventually lead to full clogs. Pour out these liquids into a separate container and relegate them to the trash, not the drains.
- Too much food/garbage: Your drains are not garbage disposals. They are not designed to handle heavy waste such as food and paper, so if you toss things into them that should go into the trash, it can cause horrible clogging. (And while we’re on the subject, garbage doesn’t go in the “garbage” disposal either. As a rule, if you can’t chew it, neither can the disposal. Put chicken bones, un-popped popcorn kernels, and other hard substances in the actual garbage.)
- Hair and soap scum: This is principally a problem for showers and bathroom sinks. Hair and soap naturally go down these drains, but they can build up in the p-trap (the curved pipe beneath the drain) and eventually create a clog. To help prevent this, have a cap over the drain.
- Damage to the sewer line: This is a serious problem that will begin affecting drains around your home. If you notice the clogs are happening in different drains, and that there is a foul, septic odor emanating from them, call plumbers immediately: you probably have damage in the sewer line that runs out to the municipal sewer.
Some of these clogs you might manage to clear on your own with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, avoid the temptation to use caustic liquid chemicals and instead call for a professional plumber to handle the work. Plumbers will use powered drain snakes and hydro-jetters to clean out your drain thoroughly and also help prevent the trouble from re-occurring. A plumber can also take care of a larger job like fixing a damaged sewer line.
When you need expert plumbing services in Salt Lake City, UT, call Design Comfort any time of the day or night.